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GP Week : Issue 186
F1 >>> nEWs According to reports in Russia this week, the government is planning to build an F1-standard permanent motorsport facility within reach of Moscow. News agency RIA Novosti reported that work on the track, which will be located on a site near Vnukovo airport to the south of Moscow, will begin next year. Construction – which will be part- funded by the airport – is expected to be completed in 2016. “On this track, it will be possible to hold a round of Formula One racing,” Moscow development official Vladimir Zhidkin told RIA Novosti. “The rest of the time it could be used by car fans and for motorsport competitions.” While Russia is already home to the Moscow Raceway, the track’s name is something of a misnomer, as the circuit is around 100 kilometres from the Russian capital. The Moscow Raceway currently plays host to rounds of the World Series by Renault, the World Superbike Championship and Germany’s DTM touring car championship, but is not ready for Formula One. While the track has been homologated to Grade I standard by the FIA, and is suitable for F1 in safety terms, upgrades to transport and accommodation will be needed before the F1 circus can roll into town. Formula One is set to make its Russian debut next year around a 5.8 kilometre track in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi following the 2014 Winter Olympics. The circuit makes use of the Olympic facilities, and the track will wind its way through the Olympic Village (see launch, above). Sochi’s Russian Grand Prix contract runs for seven-year term, and it is unclear if and when Formula One will move to the Moscow venue. But there has long been talk that all is not well at Sochi. There have been reports that a commission has been set up to look into the quality of the construction work at the track, believed to be below standards required of Formula One, as well as to investigate the cost overruns that have reportedly hit the project. But officials insist that the race will go ahead on schedule. “Our goal is to stage the Russian Grand Prix at the highest level,” Oleg Zabara, deputy general director of Formula Sochi, said in June. We will use international experience and cooperate with Russian as well as foreign experts. We have signed a seven-year contract to stage the Grand Prix commencing 2014, I'm sure the Russian Grand Prix will be organized on time and remain on the calendar for a long time.” A SECONd HOME FOR THE RUSSIAN GRANd PRIX? 10 GPWEEK.com // 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: