Sochi will be ready to host Formula One race in 2014, promises track designer
Sunday, 18 November 2012
November 18 - Sochi will be ready to stage Russia's first ever Formula One in 2014, shortly after the city host the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the architect of the track has claimed.
Sochi agreed in October 2010 a $40 million (£25 million/€31 million) deal with Formula One to host a race, starting in 2014 next to the Olympic Park, which is currently under construction.
But Sochi 2014 officials had promised that the Games would take precedence over the Grand Prix, warning that it could be postponed for a year if they feared it would compromise their preparations.
Now Hermann Tilke, the German who is the world's leading track designer, has promised that the 5.9 kilometres circuit will be ready for June 2014.
"We're deeply involved in the construction of the circuit at the moment," he said.
"I can say that everything is going according to schedule.
"Everything is fine.
"We'll be able to build the track in time, which means by 2014."
Tilke has designed nine of the circuits being used in this year's Formula One Championship, including Silverstone.
A seven-year deal to hold a race at Sochi was signed in October 2014 between Formula One supermo Bernie Ecclestone and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It fulfilled a long-held ambiton of Putin's for Russia to be part of the multi-million dollar Grand Prix circuit, previous attempts to stage a race at Moscow and St Petersburg having failed.
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June 2011: Sochi to get early chance to see Formula One
December 2010: Exclusive - Olympics in 2014 takes precedence over Formula One promise Sochi
November 2010: Sochi 2014 preparations will not be compromised by Formula One race
October 2010: Sochi to host Formula One after Putin signs deal with Ecclestone
June 2010: Sochi Mayor confirms plan for city to host F1 after Olympics