Sochi: 'We're ready for F1!'
WHISPERING SWEET NOTHINGS: Russian President Vladimir Putin met F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone in Sochi to confirm the city will be ready to host the 2014 GP.
SOCHI, Russia - This resort city on the eastern shore of the black sea is ready for a 2014 Formula 1 GP.
Its mayor, Anatoly Pakhomov, has confirmed the race will be staged soon after the city hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics.
"Construction of the racing circuit is on schedule," he insisted, "and the Krasnodar region administration does not have the right for any kind of failure - the country's prestige is at stake!"
Deputy governor of the region, Nikolai Buturlakin, said almost 50% of the F1 track in Sochi's Olympic park was finished on schedule.
Russia will host F1 series from 2014 to 2020 using infrastructure built for the Games and track and associated infrastructure that would likely cost the equivalent of about R2.3-billion.
"Of course it's an expensive project," Buturlakin said. "However, all the deferred income the region and the country will earn will cover expenses. We understand the importance of this project - staging F1 races is like the membership in an elite club for Russia. It's a very special status."
Russian president Vladimir Putin met F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone in Sochi and also assured him that Russia would be ready to host F1 races.
Along with the 2014 Games and the 2018 World Cup, the staging of F1 is a centrepiece of Putin's plan to make Russia a globally respected host of international sporting events.