the Sochi circuit as it will appear in 2014

How the finished track will appear: Image from Formula Sochi

The 2014 Russian Grand Prix sees Formula One make it all the way to Russia after having started the journey behind the then Iron Curtain for the first time in 1986 with the Hungarian Grand Prix.

A lot has changed in Eastern Europe and Russia since 1986 though and at the end of the day the race is expected to draw in tourists from across Russia and further afield to the Black Sea Resort of Sochi; as well as bring prestige to a country whose place in the world is still fluid.

For F1 itself, and Ecclestone, Russia is a country where there are not only rich potential investors but enough Russian driver talent in evidence that Formula One could really find a foothold here, in a way it failed to do in China and India.

The Sochi circuit will wind around the Olympic Park using much of the infrastructure and buildings left from the Olympics (plus the main stadium will also be used for the 2018 World Cup), a clever idea but having the Winter Olympics and inaugural Russian Grand Prix in the same year, albeit 8 months apart, may be a stretch too far some believe.

With much of the track surface laid though concerns are subsiding, should the Olympics come off without a hitch then this could boost sales of Grand Prix ticket which as of January are yet to go on sale.

Sochi should certainly be a pleasant location for F1 to find itself, although Bernie Ecclestone has in the past been keen on a race in or near Moscow: where regular street displays by McLaren and other teams have taken place for several years.

Sochi is Russia’s largest resort city and its place on the Black Sea gives it a summertime climate you wouldn’t usually associate with Russia, races in future years are likely to take place along with the rest of the European season in summer and so will make for a great opportunity to base a holiday around the event, 2018 may even offer the opportunity of a World Cup match and a Grand Prix on one trip when Sochi will be one of the host cities.

 sochi on the black sea