Russia Secured F1 Grand Prix from 2014

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin confirmed late yesterday that his country will stage a Formula One Grand Prix starting 2014, on a 6-year basis, on a circuit next to the city of Sochi. Both him and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone traveled to Sochi yesterday to work out the final details of the deal, which is said to cost the Russian organizers around EUR40 million per year.

Additionally, the agreement includes the possibility of extending that deal until 2024. The fact that the Black Sea resort of Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympics played a big role in Ecclestone's decision to welcome Russia into the Great Circus, as the F1-built complex will likely benefit from the necessary governmental funds to become a true hit.

I sincerely hope that the Formula One is going to play a big part in what I can see happening in Sochi,” Ecclestone was quoted as saying to CBSSports.

I'm sure the circuit can be a super circuit. It's all the things we need and wanted, and we are very happy. They are trying to build absolutely first-class facilities both for the Olympics and the Formula One.

According to Putin, the organization of the Russian GP will not fall in the hands of the government, but private companies, with the primary condition that these will be national.

An agreement with the (sport's) organising company has been reached,” he told investors in Russia. “In order to organize the work properly, we should create a management company here, in our country. It should consist of private national companies,” he added, according to the state news agency Ria Novosti.

More, the new deal means good news not only for Vitaly Petrov, whose chances of retaining his seat with Renault have improved dramatically, but also for the Russian Motor Racing Federation, who expressed hopes of seeing a Russian team in the series in the near future.

The signing of the agreement to stage a grand prix in Sochi will help put a Russian team in F1,” said Igor Yermilin, an official of the Russian Motor Racing Federation.

His comments are likely echoing the ones made by Marussia's boss Nikolai Fomenko last month, who hinted that his company is targeting a move to F1 as a carmaker for the future. However, he did not give any further details on such a prospect.
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