The race will debut in mid-2014, with the 5,854 kilometer street circuit weaving through the Sochi Olympic Park. The track passes facilities like the opening/closing stadium, ice-hockey and speed skating that will all be used for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics.
Vettel tested some of the track’s already existing corners, as did former Red Bull Racing driver David Coulthard, but most of the circuit is still under construction, with organisers being confident the facility will be ready on time.
Discussing his first impressions of the Sochi Olympic Park Circuit, the German said ”It is a great privilege to be the first Formula One driver to visit the new Sochi venue.”
The triple world champion drove in a special edition Infiniti road car and added “After trying a section of the track in the FX Vettel Edition, I can already see it will be a fun circuit to drive in a Formula One car and the rest of the venue is very impressive. I’m really looking forward to coming back here for the Grand Prix next year.”
Oleg Zabara, Deputy General Director of OJSC “Center “OMEGA” (who are responsible for preparations and organization of the Russian Grand Prix) said in a statement “The racing circuit in Sochi is part of the post-Olympic heritage program, designed to utilize the infrastructure built for the Winter Olympic Games. Construction of the track and the main facilities is on schedule, and in 2014 the world will see the new world- class circuit. Hosting a Formula One Grand Prix is a key project for this country, highlighting the status and the image of modern Russia.”
The Russian Grand Prix will join the Formula 1 calendar in 2014 after a 30 year campaign for a race to be staged in the country. The deal signed with Bernie Ecclestone will last seven years, with organisers expecting crowd numbers of over 100,000 for the inaugural event.
Image courtesy of YallaF1.com