Russia to join F1 calendar in 2014

2014 F1 season

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The first ever Russian Grand Prix will be held as part of the 2014 F1 calendar.

Bernie Ecclestone has signed a deal for F1 to race at a circuit in Sochi, where the next Winter Olympics are being held, in 2014.

The addition of another Grand Prix means the F1 calendar could have as many as 23 rounds by 2014.

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin confirmed the deal, telling Reuters: “We have reached an agreement with the principal owner of Formula One that Sochi would host the Russian Grand Prix from 2014 to 2020.”

According to The Times, $200m (126m) we be spent building the Sochi track and Ecclestone will charge $40m (25m) for the rights to hold the race.

Update: A Russian news site claims a 5.5km track has been designed by Hermann Tilke and has published an image.

Update 2: Thanks to Andres in the comments for posting a link which appears to show the track map is authentic.

The expanding F1 calendar

Russia’s arrival in 2014 means three new races are being added to the F1 calendar in the next four years.

The Indian Grand Prix arrives next year, stretching the calendar to new lengths, hitting 20 races for the first time. That will be increased further with the arrival of a new United States Grand Prix at Austin in 2012 and the Russian Grand Prix two years later.

Add in the proposed new race in Rome expected to be confirmed within the next few years and the F1 calendar could have 23 Grands Prix by 2014 if no other races leave the calendar in that time.

Motor racing in Russia

Ecclestone has long harboured desires of tapping into the Russian market, saying in 2001: “It is the FIA Formula One world championship and it’s about time we had a round of this championship in Russia."

Russian participation in international motor racing is has increased in recent years. Vitaly Petrov became the first Russian to compete in F1 this year.

He has attracted Russian sponsors to Renault in the form of Vyborg Shipyard and Flagman vodka. Renault also carry the logos of Lada, the Russian car brand owned by AvtoVAZ, which Renault own 25% of.

Several F1 demonstrations have been held in Moscow, including one in each of the past three years, with Petrov and Jenson Button appearing this year:

Another Russian, Mihkail Aleshin, won the World Series by Renault last week.

There has already been a Russian team in F1, albeit briefly – Midland Group re-branded the Jordan team in 2006, but sold it to Spyker later that year.

There have been several previous attempts to arrange a Grand Prix in Russia. Plans for races at St Petersburg and Nagatino Island all fell through.

Populous, who did the recent circuit design work for Silverstone, created an F1-ready track plan for a project near Moscow but the private investment company behind the plan never built the track.

Populous are also developing venues for the Sochi Winter Olympics, including the main event stadium.

The Smolensk ring opened earlier this year, hosting a round of the European Truck Racing championship in August. However it does not have the necessary licence to hold F1 races.

Location of Sochi

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Read more: Fresh rumours of a Russian Grand Prix

Image © Renault/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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142 comments on “Russia to join F1 calendar in 2014”

  1. Well, before the forum topic on this was closed, i was gonna say that the pic of the supposed track layout looks very old, like 70’s oldd, because of the strange brownish hue that it has. Are you guys sure that thatis the current layout?

    1. The picture was published by (link above). I have my doubts about whether it’s real, some of the corners look pretty quick with not an obvious amount of space for run-off. Hard to tell from the picture though.

      1. It looks a bit like a picture taken from a sketched track on the actual layout of the olympic village lying on a table or something.
        Maybe a first draft by the Russians, before Tilke gets a serious look at it?

        1. the track there looks awful, even tilke can do something better, surely

      2. So the plan is it’ll be a street race? If so I don’t think the layout looks particularly workable. The large radius u-turn in the middle of the track would require a massive amount of runoff area, as the speed through that corner would be pretty extreme, but if it’s a street race that runoff isn’t going to be available.

        It is good though to see the calendar expanding, however given the size of Russia it could almost be argued that it could host two grand prix.

        1. Sounds it might be a bit like Valencia – a street race but with purpose-built roads.

          I share your reservations about the track layout. What interests me is there’s a couple of kinks in high-speed sections which look like they’ll need a lot of run-off regardless whether the track is run clockwise or anti-clockwise.

          Having said that, I expect it’ll be clockwise or the start line will be very close to turn one.

          1. I rather had hoped it would be going the other way, and the run to turn one would be quite long…

        2. I’ve been rethinking my u-turn corner comment, and maybe the radius of the corner is so large (I’m guestimating a radius of about 150m) that the lateral acceleration that the cars would be subjected to is so low (in comparsion to what the cars can resist) that the corner could essentially be classified as a straight, therefore meaning that runoff isn’t required. For example maybe the cars would need to hit a theoretical speed of 500km/h around the corner before the lateral acceleration is greater than what the cars can resist and they spin out, which would mean there would be no need to brake on the approach to the corner, and no chance of the cars spinning out on the corner, thereby meaning no need for runoff. I could be totally wrong.

  2. I don’t know about everyone else, but I am very pleased to hear this actually. I have always thought that Russia has deserved a Grand Prix – especially now Petrov is racing. It is amazing to think that there are two Grands Prix in the Middle-East and Spain, yet none in the largest country on Earth.

    1. I also can’t help but feel a little disappointed it isn’t in Moscow or Saint-Petersburg. I actually had to Google Sochi… :(

      1. A street race in Moscow would have been epic.

        1. I can’t say I agree. I am growing tired of street races. I think this will be a really good event! Looks as though it could near the beach of the equally epic Black Sea.

          1. There is a Moscow raceway in progress near Moscow, stationary track, Tilke is designer. I always thougt this will be a Russian GP.

          2. Agreed. Street races should be a novelty, a change from the norm, not the norm.

            These days when I hear about a new track being planned in the streets around a harbour in some exotic city I just shake my head…

          3. It will have the black sea riviera as well as the Olympic Village as a backdrop (make that a stadium to drive through?).

            I agree with you, no more street races. Only worry here is, it might actually end up a bit like Valencia, with an interesting backdrop (some sea, interesting architecture), but the track being nothing special.

      2. I also had to google where! But another track on the calendar, it’s all good :)

    2. I agree, F1 is much closer to being a true world championship with Russia, India and US coming soon.

      All we need now is a race in South Africa.

      1. Personally, if I could choose to hold a Grand Prix anywhere in Russia, it would be Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Imagine having the volcanoes as a backdrop and racing on ice? Although a race anywhere on the Kamchatka peninsula may pose a logistical problem…

        1. I’m a bit surprised there are so many people who didn’t hear about Sochi up to now – besides being mentioned in paddock rumors haven’t you heard about this sporting thing called Olympics that will take place there in 4 years?

          1. The Winter Olympics…they don’t get quite the fanfare of the summer games though do they…

      2. I vote Tibet… Seriously… that would be a great place for a race…

        1. I doubt the engines would run very well at that altitude.

  3. This is really exciting! I wonder if Populous will do this one as well? It’ll be interesting to compare with Tilke under the same FIA regulations. A lot does seem to be happening with Russia and F1 at the minute, all these sponsors and companies getting involved through Petrov seems to have catalysed it all, which can only be a good thing for him!

    1. Populous will not do the circuit design. They only got the Silverstone contract because they were contacted by the BRDC directly. It is most likely that Hermann Tilke will design the circuit, largely because of his virtual monopoly of the market. I am told the reason why Tilke gets all of the contracts is because unlike Populous and Apex, Tilke is not just an architectural firm – he provides engineering and management consulting. Firms like Apex and Populous design a circuit, and their involvement generally ends there, though it varies on a case-by-case basis. Tilke designs a circuit, and then oversees the construction process. That’s how he’s able to deliver the circuits on time and to budget: he maintains control from the moment he visits the site of the circuit to the moment the circuit is opened for racing.

      1. But i think that in Silverstone, Populous was involved a lot more, and they are involved more than just with designing in Sochi and for the London Olympics.

        But I agree, that this will probably be another Tilke track, as Bernie would insist. A shame, i would like to see Populous doing their version of a “Russian Valencia” (seaside and sports architecture in the background, no elevation at all and probably tight space) and compare the results.

        1. … No more Valencia… Russian, Arctic or the Moon… No more Valencia…

      2. Guilherme Teixeira
        14th October 2010, 16:30

        Tilke is not just an architectural firm – he provides engineering and management consulting.

        That makes sense. Contrary to popular belief, Tilke is not an architect, he is a civil engineer.

        1. It is only that – Tilke’s firm is also designing the facilities so they are offering full package instead of having to employ separate firms to build track and all the facilities needed.

          1. It would be nice if for once, Tilke would (at least) outsource the design to Populous…

  4. Gp in Russia? Interesting.
    23 Gps? Too many!

    I’m afraid that we could go to an alternation…

    1. Too many GP’s… is there such a thing!

      1. There might be. The 25-race calendar discussion on the forum got me thinking, with most Grand Prix two weeks apart lengthening the calendar puts more F1 over the year and that can seriously lead to fatigue. I get bored of football after the New Year and don’t get into it again until the last 8 matches. An F1 calendar spread over something like 40 weeks would sadly get quite boring in the middle.

        With Horner’s comments about shortening the GP weekend by one day by arriving on Thursdays instead, it could be a good way to get more back-to-backs and intensify a calendar that is getting more and more in need of it.

        1. We have the USA coming in 2012, Bernie talking about Rome in 2012, India in 2012(?) and now Russia in 2014. That makes 23 when his nibs says himself the 20 in max.
          The teams are run ragged with 19 this year so what is going to change to keep to 20 races. Drop Turkey because it is one?
          Germany is in trouble with organizers as is Japan. Do those 3 go to make room for the others and bring us to 20?
          F1 like all major sports is pricing itself out of the wallets of the common fan.
          I would love to go to Montreal regularly but with the price of tickets, hotels, meals and air fare from Vancouver it just isn’t on. If there is any doubt, look at the empty seats in Turkey.
          Bernie should be more concerned with the viability of the teams on the grid and the races with long standing fan bases before he wonders of into areas with dubious futures. No doubt he is getting initial returns for his shareholders but there is only so many golden eggs to go around.

    2. Well I’m sure some will drop off or get the chop before then.

      Turkey looks likely to go, I don’t know if Korea will have a long term future and hopefully Bernie sees some sense and gets rid of one of the Spanish races (although having said that, he wants a 2nd race in Italy…)

      1. Some GPs will be gone. Didnt Bernie even say not that long ago that 20 races is enough, and here we are with 3 more signed up. Either he’s loosing his memory in his old age or was threading a lie. I think races will be axed or rotated with others.

        Doesnt the European GP contract with Valencia end in 2014? i know they resigned the deal this season but I have that date in my head for some reason…

        1. They….. Resigned?….. He…. Who….. Why?…….. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

          What I’m trying to say is, I feel let down that such an appalling track has been resigned onto the calendar, and this is yet another sad example of money being more important than the racing…

          1. I think we can leave Catalunya to the testing sessions – making Valencia the Spanish Grand Prix (and Nurburgring the European Grand Prix) and I wouldn’t be all that sad seeing another go – if it were up to me it’d be something like Malaysia, or China – but it’s too important that F1 holds a GP there I guess.

          2. Valencia to me is a dog of a track I for one would love to see it gone.
            That tried to make it an up to date Monaco style track in an industrial area which doesn’t make it.
            Absent buildings, Montreal is a better track and resembles Monaco except that it has a fabulous straight in place of the tunnel section.
            Hungary is an old track with little to recommend it when compared to Spa, Silverstone and some of the older tracks so it could go but if we have to choose I choose Valencia to disappear.

  5. Bryce Peelopps
    14th October 2010, 13:47

    The only European races that should be on the calendar are Spa, Monza, Monaco, and Silverstone. The rest should be scrapped.

    1. What are you talking about? With so many German and Spanish fans, you cannot cancel Germany and Spain. That’s just nonsense. But I’d remove the “european GP” (the one that hasrecently happened in Valencia, Spain). Two races in the same country do not make sense…

      1. Rice Porkchops
        14th October 2010, 18:38

        No, I mean ESPECIALLY remove those races.

  6. Sochi sucs! It is much much more expencive to go to Sochi than for example Istambul or Budapest.

    They should have done this in Moscow

    1. Allright, but not IN Moscow as a street circuit please !

  7. What no pit lane in Red Square… fail! It’s hardly Russian in my opinion… more like conquered and annexed Russia. Almost like a US Grand Prix in Puerto Rico or Guantanamo.

    Truth is… if the track is a winner… who gives a **** where its located.

    Does this mean that Pet stays at Renault?

    1. That area has been part of Russia since the 1860s, not much longer than Texas has been a part of the USA. So is the race at Austin “not American?”

      1. Thanks for the history lesson… but it’s not what Westerners (Americans, Europeans, Aussies Kiwis even though the latter two are actually eastern) think of when we think of Russia. We usually think of Moscow and a greater part of easter Europe. So please forgive me for stereotyping.

        I also said that if the track is great who cares where it is. You seemed to have missed that part and thought about what you didn’t like.

        Truth is… I hope pet loses his ride and a certain Finn gets it.

        Cheers, Alex

        1. Speak for yourself
          Some of us who know a little about Russia consider this to be very much in Russia…..

      2. And also around when Russia sold Alaska to the Americans.

        Borders changed alot in that time, alot of Europe was still Prussian but speak to central Europeans and they would not want to be known as anything other than what they are today.

        I agree with Red Andy, just because its not in European linked Russia doesn’t mean its not Russian, its about time we saw more of the place than the central power base!

        1. What we now know as Italy didn’t happen until 1861. And worse still Germany wasn’t unified until 1871.

          1. and south korea wasn’t established until 1948

    2. @Alex Bkk – I do see your point. It doesn’t feel like a true Russian Grand Prix to me either. I think to be Russian it needs to showcase eccentricity, weird and grand architecture, vastness and it needs to be epic. Being held in a beach-side kind of holiday city doesn’t say Russia to me either.

      1. Seriously – that’s like saying that if there’s no Grand Canyon with a Statue of Liberty in it, it’s not American.

        1. Seriously – that’s like saying that if there’s no Grand Canyon with a Statue of Liberty in it, it’s not American.

          No, I just feel they have failed to capitalise on a great opportunity to showcase traditional Russia. What I am trying to say is that Sochi looks as though it could be anywhere in the world, even near the equator! People aren’t going to watch and think of how beautiful Russia is, because when you visit Russia, you are highly unlikely to visit the region near Georgia are you?

          1. I get what you mean, but there’s two things. One, seeing as this will also be the site of the Olympics, it’s likely that the surrounding infrastructure will be themed to reflect what most ‘westerners’ think of as Russian (onion domes, etc). Second, that’s the thing: if you’re from central or eastern Europe (I don’t know about Asia), you’re at least as likely, if not more likely, to visit southern Russia as you are the northern parts. I get what you’re saying, but the image of Russia you’re talking about comes from the way it’s usually shown ‘in the west’. If you ask a Russian to identify something emblematic of the country, or something Russians are proud of, there’s a good chance they’ll point to the southern resort spots (among other things) because, modern hotels in Sochi aside, they’re just as traditional for Russians as the Russia you’re talking about.

    3. It’s hardly Russian in my opinion

      Are you Russian? Have you been to Russia? Do you known any Russians? If no, why are you in any position to judge?

      Sochi represents the new Russia: it is young, affluent and wants to take centre stage.

      1. FromRussiaWithLove
        31st January 2011, 17:29

        I am Russian and kind of agree, Sochi does not represent country. They just try to make it less cold for F1 fans I guess ;)

  8. Vodka @ the podium might inspire Kimi to come back. ;)

    1. If Vodka as sponsor of Renault didnt inspire, i think that wont work either :)
      But who knows….

  9. This race worries me on two accounts. One in F1 terms, it almost certainly means we’ll be losing a classic European track at the expense of this race. I could be wrong, hopefully China will have the axe dropped on it. The races there are generally less than impressive and are massively under attended given the huge population of China.

    Secondly, though, I find the geo-politics of the region a little concerning. Last year there conflict not far from this city with Georgia (ok, the conflict occured in Georgia, but it isnt all that far away), there are seperatist groups in this area and Russia is having a tough time containing it’s rebel/terrorist groups. I’m sure the race will have sufficient security, but it is a little concerning…

    1. I don’t think you should worry about a classic race being dropped.

      Silvertsone has a deal as does Monaco, Monza wouldn’t even be dropped for Rome and Spa should be safe (even if there has been whispers of it rotating with another track) and those 4 are really the best, most prestigous races Europe has.

      Turkey could be dropped and there’s 2 Spanish races. I think Italy can get away with having two because it has Ferrari and although Alonso’s in a Ferrari and those races seem safe it feels a bit odd for me to see both of those countries getting two. I think only one will be dropped if the calendar is unworkable though but it is an option esp with testing at Catalyuna (but it has a big crowd) and Valencia being well, Valencia.

      I don’t think China will be dropped; it’s in too much of an important economic market. Every time I hear suggestions it could go I can’t help but feel Bernie will be chuffed as it’s an excuse for the organisers to pull their finger out. Maybe I’m a little paranoid though.

      I don’t know much about the area so I can’t comment on your second point much but it is a few years until the race is held so hopefully security will be fine and I doubt/hope Bernie wouldn’t send them somewhere dangerous.

      1. I bloody hope you are right Steph!

        We’ve lost a French GP and San Marino GP.

        Thing is how can you have more races with a descending budget cap in place and what if anything have the new eastern race countries have given us that would equate to us giving them F1


    2. I don’t believe that the thinking “there are too many races, we’ll have to drop a European one” has been applied at any time here.

      The danger for many of the European (and some other) races here is that as there are more places paying top-dollar prices for a Grand Prix it will put up their fees at contract renewal time.

      The next venue whose contract is up for renewal is Suzuka, owned by Honda through Mobilityland. Will they be happy to pay Ecclestone’s price? worth remembering there are rumours Honda are considering a comeback under the 2013 engine regs.

      1. But with European races being less able, or perhaps willing, to pay such high amounts to host a GP weekend compared with the likes of the borefest’s in the far and middle east, isnt it an ominous sign that Bernie will go to whoever offers him the biggest wad of cash?

        I know that is perfect business sense, but it isnt a good move for the sport. I really am fearful for some of the European races which always give us entertaing shows. Bernie has said many times of the last couple of years that some tracks are not up to scratch. This could be asthetically, yes, but I sense it is more to do with money – Spa, Nurburgring/Hockenheim and Monza have all posted losses this year and/or in previous years.

        I wouldnt be to suprised if Japan was dropped. It would be a crying shame if they were, but as of next season there will only be one (possibly two) Japanese drivers on the grid, with onyl a handful of Japanese sponsers… Not looking good for Suzuka either…!

        1. Probably won’t lose the German race as there are too many German drivers.

        2. I don’t know about “perfect business sense”. I is short-term business sense. Destroying the sport is good for no one in the long term.

      2. Fascinating that Honda would come back… would that be as an engine supplier or a team effort? Perhaps a bit of both?

      3. Spa is having their contract come to an end pretty soon as well, and the Belgians are not looking like paying a lot more then they do right now.
        But you are absolutely right about Bernie playing them around a bit to get the best prices.

      4. Yes I’m with you on the money thing. If they are paying top dollar for the right to hold a race then there should be no budget cap let alone a testing ban.

        The rights holders of F1 need to compensate the teams for the afore mentioned items in the previous paragraph so that F1 can really be the show that they are paying for.

        I just puked in my mouth a bit on that last sentence (the show).


    3. One in F1 terms, it almost certainly means we’ll be losing a classic European track at the expense of this race.

      When was the last time a “classic race” was dropped in favour of a new venue? The only ones missing from the calendar are France, Portugal and San Marino. And given the state that Magny-Cours, Imola and Estoril are in, that’s probably a good thing.

      1. Sorry if this sounds like I am stereotyping, but I too think the South-Western area of Russia is a little impoverished, as are most countries in Eastern Europe and around the Black Sea. It almost seems like a gypsy area where crime and as you say, rebellion would be an issue. I doubt this would affect the Grand Prix, but I can’t see the logic in holding a Grand Prix in Russia anywhere else than in the densely populated North-West.

        1. But it seems the Kremlin wants to promote this area bigtime, with getting the Winter Olympics to an area with hardly any snow and now F1.
          It has political dimensions, making it an alternative to now Ukrainian Sebastopol for black sea visits as well as getting a major Russian footprint in the Kaukasian region to counter rebellion and Georgia/Turkey and Iran.

          1. It seems as though they are re-shaping everyone’s idea of Russia. I know when I think of Russia I think of isolation, communism, slavery, dekulakisation, genocide and fear. No only joking! (No harm intended; I love Russia) But I do think of incredible buildings, extremely low temperatures and vastness, not beachside resort towns where temperatures barely drop below 10 degrees! My idea of a Russian Grand Prix is a circuit near Moscow. (Or Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky!)

        2. I don’t know too much about the specifics, but it could be that Russia is looking to provide economic stimulus for areas outside of the traditional Moscow-St. Petersburg regions; having the Winter Olympics and a Grand Prix in Sochi is a fairly good way of attracting investment to the region.

          If there were any security problems with the area you can be absolutely certain the IOC would never have sanctioned a Games there.

          1. *Ahem* What was all the drama about New Delhi then? But I can see what they are doing, this southern, warmer area of Russia is relatively unknown and atypical of Russia and they are trying to showcase it. Honestly, I much prefer the “traditional Moscow-St. Petersburg regions” as it for me, sums up what I love about Russia. I think this will be sort of a false representation of the nation if that makes any sense.

          2. I much prefer the “traditional Moscow-St. Petersburg regions”

            Pffft. Ulan-Ude is where it’s at!

          3. Exactly! Ulan-Ude is one of the cities that makes Russia the weird and lovable place it is!

  10. Question could belong to the trivia quizz but wazzat ?

    1. That’s a tough one!
      MADI on the livery stands for “Moskovskii Avtomobilno-Doroghnyi Institut” or lossely translated “Moscow Automotive and Road Institute” They have always been involved in designing concept cars. Who knows what this 60s example is, could be another project car, in partnership with someone in Europe…

      1. The sad thing is that is not a 60’s car but a 1973 one, loosely copied on the Lotus 72 and the last time the Soviets were “serious” about getting into Formula One…

        1. Wow! Do you have any more to that story?

  11. A few observations,

    Sochi appears central to a large area travel wise. It’s in pretty much the most south westerly corner of Russia and is close to Turkey, could it replace the Turkish Grand Prix I wonder.

    Going on the terrain map it looks like it is in a mountain region. Could make for an interesting track depending on where the actual track it is located.

    Not looked up the weather but it’s as southerly as Russia gets so this might help it fit more at the beginning or end of the season without increased risk of bad weather.

    1. Hmmm, not sure that Turks, Romanians, Bulgarians and Georgians will flock to Russia. They don’t like Russians. The Greeks may be but it’s quite far already. Couldn’t think of a more remote location to organize a GP. Keyflavik could be it though

      1. Hungary would probably be closer to most Greeks. And most Bulgarians, come to think of it.

  12. Hooray! One more GP.

    On another note, I so badly want that Keflavik circuit to be built. I’ve been to Keflavik and it would be a great site for another race.

  13. I think 20 is the limit, I’m sure this has been mentioned by Bernie himself.

    If this news means an increased chance of Catalunya being punted out, then I’m all for it.

  14. Funnily enough I have written down a provisional calendar for the 2015 season, and I had Russia on the list as Bernie has been trying to push it through for ages now.
    I had the calendar split into two sections, like this…..
    Bahrain (Sakhir)
    Australia (Melbourne)
    Malaysia (Sepang)
    China (Shanghai)
    Korea (Yeongam)
    Turkey (Istanbul)
    Monaco (Monte Carlo)
    Spain (Barcelona)
    Portugal (Portimao)
    France (New Circuit?)
    Germany (Hockenheimring)
    Then a break………… then:
    Hungary (Hungaroring)
    Russia (I had Moscow, but Sochi it is!)
    Great Britain (Silverstone)
    Belgium (Spa)
    Italy (Monza)
    Canada (Montreal)
    USA (Austin)
    Mexico (New Track)
    Brazil (Interagos)
    Singapore (Marina Bay)
    Japan (Suzuka)
    Abu Dhabi (Yas Marinas)

    I know it’s a tight squeeze, but that period of races from GB to Brazil would be exhilarating to say the least!

    1. I cant see the calander being extended past 20 races. The teams spend enough time on the road/planes as it is. It’ll be exhausting, not only for the engineers and drivers, but the media and journalists that follow.

      I’d say that having too many grand prix will saturate the average viewer. Once every other week is enough for many viewers, even some of the hardcore fans.

      I cant see Portimao holding a race either, same with Mexico (unless another is dropped). Also remember that there is supposed to be race in Rome in the next 5 years or so, possibly at the expense of Monza.

      1. Mexico are starting to re-invest into formula 1 though, and there is no way Monza would be dropped in favour of a Rome race, seeing as it’s not even in the good bit of Rome! I think the way they should do it is group he races together, I know it’s tough to do but places like Portugal and Spain can be back to back, as can Germany and France, Malaysia and China, and Singapore and Japan. If they were to split the races up into 2 mini seasons with a 4-6 week break in between, I think it could work. Of course, the development time would be less in the shortened off season, but that means the cars would be evolutions not revolutions, and the races would be more exciting imo. One last thing, I would actually cut the number of races down anyway, and remove Bahrain, Turkey, Valencia and China from the list, as they are either boring, or don’t seem to draw the crowds in, either way, they aren’t worthy of a place compared to Canada, Silverstone, Spa, Monza, Melbourne, Suzuka and Monaco

    2. Unlikely that one season will embrace 23 GPs
      I think 20-22 is maximum due to costs and investments needed.
      Most likely some venues will hold F1 GPs every 2nd year, rotationally, especially the tracks which provide dull procesional races.

    3. The longer the better as far as I am concerned. Currently F1 does not race over the European winter. What really is being forgotten than while it might be winter in northern hemisphere, it’s summer elsewhere, so why not split the calendar into three parts; reduce the length of the winter break, have two mid season breaks, and make the sport a year round event.

  15. It’ll be interesting to see which teams have what equipment stopped and held by Russian customs.

    I presume all Bernie’s agreements allow for the free passage of everything each team needs across national borders. I wonder just how this will work in practice for the Russian GP.

    1. Not necessarily – I think Williams weren’t able to use their new front wing on Friday in China because it had been seized by customers.

      1. Customers? I thought customer cars were outlawed? :-P

  16. Wooo Hooo the more races the better cant get enough of the world circus called Formula One :D

    1. Uncle Bernie says that he won’t allow more then 20, so save your celebration.

      1. “Uncle Bernie” has also said that sixteen is the maximum …

        1. Sorry, but Uncle Bernie has 80 years. No one is forever


    This is an image of the supposed circuit layout. I can’t speak as to its accuracy, but it appears to have been taken by a mobile phone at the annoucement of the race. Exactly who is repsonsible for it seems unclear, though I have heard that Hermann Tilke has been in Russia as recently as six months ago.

    As to the actual circuit layout, I like it. It reminds me of the old Monaco – before Rascasse was more defined – crossed with Sepang. It seems to be made up of three high-speed sections, with the odd slow corner thrown in to offer a passing point. It will be run in and around the Olympic Village that will play host to athletes taking part in the 2014 Winter Olympics. I don’t know how the IOC will respond to this; shortly after London won the rights to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, Mr. E suggested a one-off “Olympic Grand Prix” to be held in London. The IOC wasn’t happy with the prospect.

    1. It’s in the article – according to the site it’s taken from it was designed by Tilke.

      1. Yeah, I didn’t actually see it in the article. Sorry about that.

    2. Time to wind up one of my broken records…

      It’s flawed. That last sector has he usual “oh no, I need three more corners” Tilke mentality about it.

  18. I doubt Bernie will will extend his calender more then 20 races what he will do is cut off some of the races that will pay him less & by that we will loose some traditional track like Monza, Spa.In the end we will loose all the old circuit & that will be filled by Tilke drome!

    1. Actually, practically every circuit is under contract around 2014. And thsoe contracts cannot be easily broken because Bernie writes them that way. The only circuits up for renewal between now and 2014 are China, Japan and Turkey.

      1. I don’t think that Bernie will throw China & Turkey that easily. I don’t trust that guy, he can do whatever he wants.

      2. Isn’t Spa as well up for renewal in 2012?

  19. Bernie has said that 20 races is the limit. So what would be the calendar in 2014? I think Valencia and Turkey will get the axe, which leaves only 3 slots for Grands Prix. But we have India, the States, Rome and now Russia looking to get races. One more needs to go.

    1. How long is Monaco contracted?

      1. Until 2020, new deal this year:

        Monaco signs ten-year F1 deal

        1. Wow! A silly season of “Where will F1 race next year?”

          Some track is going to bite it big time… Which will that be?

          1. You can be sure that it’ll be one of the classics; Ecclestone seems to hate nothing more than the soul of the sport. It’s like he has a moral objection to passion, since its nature gets in the way of making money.

            At any rate, if three races had to be axed, my money would be on Spa, Suzuka, and Interlagos. They’re the best tracks out there, and it must gnaw at Bernie that he hasn’t been able to rid himself of them yet.

            What a wicked, wretched demon of a man.

  20. Well, Russia changes his mind again!
    There have been talks of hosting a Grand Prix in Russia for more than 30 years (even before the first Hungarian Grand Prix). But for various reasons, it could never have been done. The last attempt to host a race was on a track in Volokolamsk (80km west of Moscow), called Moscow Raceway, which construction started in october 2008. Unlike the russian project of Populous, this was a Tilke project, and the track was designed for F1 and for Moto Gp. Unfortunatly construction was suspended in 2009 due to the financial crisis.

    What is still interesting is that construction resumed this year, and looks like it will be finished one day.
    This pictures shows the construction site 2 weeks ago :
    And this is what the track would look like when it will be finished :

    It’s juste a pity that Russia will change it’s mind again, and choose another place to build another new track. The Moscow track seem to be in construction for nothing. I personally hope, it will at least host a Moto GP round…

    1. Ah, but someone did get a lot of money to start building it, so that is ok for them.

  21. Oh god! Not Tilke again. Keith remember a few years ago we were able to vote on the FIA website about things pertaining to F1 such as electronic aids etc.

    We need to be able to speak up about all the changes, rules & boring circuits being added to the calendar for years.

    1. I’m sorry, but how do you know the circuit will be boring if you haven’t seen it yet? Because Tilke designed it? That’s not conlusive proof of anything. He’s said that Bernie Ecclestone has given him permission to design circuits that are a little more “on the edge” as he puts it. This is his first after Austin, and it’s very much a departure for him. There’s lots of fast corners, just one hairpin and some very long high-speed stretches.

      It’s a pet hate of mine when fns complain about the circuits and expect the likes of Tilke to come up with something better, but offer no suggestions as to what that something better might be. You might as well ask him to play darts while blind-folded. He’ll have a better chance of hitting a bull’s-eye that way.

  22. the reason for the choice of sochi is obvious……flavio will be able to go on his yacht , and bernie will be his guest

  23. Guilherme Teixeira
    14th October 2010, 16:46

    People has been saying that a season can’t have more than 20 races. Well, that is true to some extent.

    What limits the maximum number of races in a season is the Concorde Agreement, and we will get a new one after 2012. That said, we have the Indian and US Grands Prix on the line until 2012, so maybe Bernie will do a deal with the teams and the FIA to breach the CA and hold 21 races in a season, or a race will be dropped.

    After 2012, it will depend on the new Concorde Agreement, and probably Bernie will push for a 25 race limit, thus allowing the Russian GP to be held without depending on another race droping out.

    1. I remember one of the teams saying “we won’t make any money out of the Canadian GP” because of going so far and back would eat up all their profits. So Bernie will say, well, here’s another race on the continent, now you can make a profit.

  24. HounslowBusGarage
    14th October 2010, 17:52

    I followed the link to the layout of the Russian track and got this little snippet of information

    “The route for the Grand Prix of Russia will be built in Sochi Olympic Park, its project has been designed by Hermann Tilke, and includes stretches of public roads as well as specially constructed sites. The length of the route – about 5.5 kilometres.

    Comments and description will appear after the contract signing ceremony will take place in the next half hour.”

  25. ecclestone has said 20 races wil be the limit.

    1. Not that long ago he was saying 16 races was the limit.

      1. Nah, I’m pretty sure 20 is as far as we go. Any more than that, and FOTA will either throw a fit, or double their costs as they’ll need 2 race teams.

        1. I know Bernie said 20 races is the limit, but if the old venue have a contract which Bernie can’t tear up, & the new venues pays him & keep hims smiling then I don’t think he will have trouble in running more then 20 races.

  26. Keith, you should put up a page to track the contracts of the circuits and when they run out. If any are the year before Russia join it could be an indication of impending dropping. Just a thought!

  27. With the current “off” season being right around 4 months (not counting testing), I suppose that 2 or 3 additional race dates could be feasible. I’d love to see it happen, but that would surely be the limit.

  28. 23 races?

    India will be #20.
    If Austin does push through, kiss Turkey goodbye.
    If Russia gets in, there will probably be little need for Hungary.
    As for Rome… I seriously doubt that will happen.

  29. What I find most interesting here is the pit lane. These are actual, professional plans that have been drawn up, and so that pit lane looks very tiny. But assuming that it’s to scale and can hold twenty-four cars comfortably, imagine the rest of the circuit – some of those straights are going to be very long, and those turns will be very fast.

    1. I was wondering about that, but if you look at Turn 4, if its width was to the giant scale it would be far less tight than it seems to be intended. The main straight would also most likely be contravening a rule I believe exists about how long a straight can be, unless that’s just a Bernie guideline. I don’t think the drawing is very accurate.

  30. As long as Monaco is always on the schedule! The highlight of every racing year.

  31. I seem to recall that the last guys who were making noise about a track in Moscow were angling to get their hands on a chunk of land that some real estate developers were interested in, and ended up on the sidewalk, full of holes.

    I wouldn’t be jumping at the chance to be involved with this project either, high profile or not…

    1. The Nagatino Island project?

      If those guys were indeed shot, it had nothing to do with the circuit. The Moscow city council backed out of the project in 2002 because they felt the commercial arrangements were not in their best interests, and the project was officially abandoned in 2003.

  32. HounslowBusGarage
    15th October 2010, 10:45

    If you read the new article on it mentions that the track will be in the Imerti Valley where the Olympic village is to be built. So If you put that name into Google maps (Имеретинской долине) you get whisked inland from Sochi about 30 kms to beyond Krasnaya Polyana (which has been mentioned as the location of the Olympic Village).
    So the track won’t be by the sea, with echoes of Monaco and Valencia, superyachts in the background etc, but at the foot of lofty, and possibly snow-covered mountains.

    1. Well, they are building two Olympic Villages. One will be on the Black Sea coast and will service athletes taking part in the speed and figure skating, curling and the like; there will be another up in Krasnaya Polyana, which is being built for the skiing, bobsliegh and luge, snowboarding and the outdoors-y events.

      That said, the above is a concept image of the village to be built on the coast, and it lines up with the circuit (though it doesn’t contain the actual Olympic Stadium).

      1. HounslowBusGarage
        15th October 2010, 11:49

        Didn’t see that, PM. But now it all makes sense. In the background is the airport at Adler / Moldovka (aka Krasnodarskiy Kray)which is about 20 kms down the coast from Sochi, and it stands at the mouth of the Imerti, so it *is* technically in the Imerti Valley. But you’re right, it’s 20 kms from the mountains and the track will be pretty well flat.

  33. omg, nice to see this video, I was there in Moscow last week

  34. In soviet russia, car drives you.

  35. I hope they make the track layout more interesting and more demanding curves and stuff .

  36. It’s not in the interest of Russia to stop them all at customs! If this did happen, i’m sure someone big and important would step in. Imagine the embarassment.

    Good news about the race. Course it means somewhere will get the chop..but it is a World Championship.

  37. Hi my colleagues, how is everything? Here it is actually nice YouTube video lessons collection. i enjoyed a lot.

  38. They will spend at least 1000m USD. Sochi Wintergames are 10 times more expensive than expected.

    Russia should actually not get any Grand Prix until they efficaciously fight corruption and show the world that they are able to run large projects. Just as an example: Contrary to China, Russian national airspace projects are a disaster at the moment with 3 failed space missions failed during the last 3 years.
    Its a shame for a country having such a long space technology tradition and so many smart brains.

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