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SOCHI, August 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Formula One four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel said on Monday that the recently completed racing track in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi was fully ready to host Russia’s first ever F1 Grand Prix, due to be held there on October 12.
The 27-year-old racer visited Sochi in April last year together with former F1 racer David Coulthard and this year, according to Vettel, the track looked very different with less than 50 days remaining before the event’s kick-off in October.
Last week, a delegation from the International Automobile Federation (FIA) led by FIA Formula One Race Director Charlie Whiting, visited Sochi to inspect the track’s readiness for the Russian Grand Prix.
“The circuit is in extremely good condition and the circuit will be issued with a [FIA] license,” Charlie Whiting told journalists following the inspection of the circuit.
In December, FIA officially announced the calendar of the 2014 Formula One races, and the Grand Prix in Russia’s Sochi was scheduled for October 12 as the 16th out of 19 F1 Grand Prix races this year.
“Everything has been done according to the plans,” Whiting said. “The kerbs are all good, the verges, the track itself, the barriers, the fences, the guard rails, the walls - everything is in extremely good condition.”
In February and March, the Russian resort city of Sochi hosted the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, which, according to international sports officials, athletes and visitors, were organized at the highest level possible and provided up-to-date infrastructure at all levels.The Russian Grand Prix will be held at the racing track located near the Olympic Village in the coastal area of Sochi. The contract to include Russia in the calendar of F1 racing for the 2014-2020 period was signed in 2010 in Sochi by then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
About three weeks after the contract was signed Putin, known for his avid support of sports development in Russia, gunned down a F1 bolide on a race track outside Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg.
In what can be called the ‘fastest president in the world,’ he reached a speed of 240 kmph (150 mph). His racing lap added to his previous motorized stunts, which included piloting fighter jets and strategic bombers as well as riding Harley Davidson motorcycles with Russian bikers.
Putin and Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone met again in Sochi in the wake of the Winter Olympics, which ran between February 7 and 23. At that meeting F1 supremo Ecclestone suggested that it would be interesting to hold Sochi GP in the night time.