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Sunday December 19, 2010

Russia’s Sochi circuit will be ready for F1 debut in 2014

LONDON: The Sochi circuit due to host Russia’s first Formula One race in 2014 will encourage overtaking, be ready on time and without “gimmicks”, local officials have promised.

City mayor Anatoly Pakhomov told Reuters that the track would be ready well ahead of the Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort that year.

“Of course there are some more specific features that will need to be added upon the completion of the Olympic Games, such as run-off areas, catch fencing etc,” he said.

“But we foresee the base requirements of the track being completed approximately one year prior to the first race being held.”

He said the biggest challenge was the fact that the F1 calendar would not be finalised until late 2013, leaving organisers uncertain about how much time they would have to play with after the Feb 7-23 Games.

F1’s commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced a seven-year race deal in October.

They said the first race could be postponed if it affects Winter Olympics preparations but Pakhomov doubted that would be necessary.

“There is every intention to ensure that the F1 race will go ahead as planned in 2014,” said Pakhomov.

“The specific requirements of managing the two events together is being studied carefully at present as the committee working to oversee the successful implementation of the Olympics becomes fully integrated with the committee being set up to orchestrate the F1 race which is still in its formative stage.

“However, I don’t foresee any slippage of the race into 2015 being necessary.” – Reuters

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