Organisers of the inaugural Russian Grand Prix say they are confident that the first race will go ahead as planned in 2014 in the city of Sochi.
A seven year deal for the race was announced earlier this year, although that first race is due to be held in the same year as the Winter Olympics in the same city – leading to speculation that the first Russian GP could be delayed.
However, in an interview with Reuters
, city mayor Anatoly Pakhomov said he was confident that the race would go ahead as planned with the aim being to have the main part of the circuit completed by 2013.
"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.
"There is every intention to ensure that the F1 race will go ahead as planned in 2014. 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."
Meanwhile, Andrey Kraynik - a senior executive of Olympic and Grand Prix sponsor MegaFon – said he though the Tilke-designed circuit would be a popular addition to the schedule.
"When we first invited Tilke down to see Sochi in 2009 we stressed the importance of ensuring the track design got the balance right," he said. "The track will be a classic track with an emphasis on good overtaking opportunities, no gimmicks. It will have a mix of high speed corners, long straights and hairpins.
"On the one hand you will have the mountains as a backdrop and a city street-track feel at the same time. It will come to be loved by the fans like Montreal, and be challenging for the drivers like Monaco."