MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/.Jean Todt, the president of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), says Russians should be proud of having so many opportunities for hosting international motorsport events.
In an exclusive interview with TASS, the FIA president said there was no need at all to alter the venue for the Formula One GP and the Russians should be feeling proud of having such track in the south of the country and, on top of all, hosting ePrix on June 6 and then the WTCC race on Sunday.
"You should be very proud of being Russian to have one circuit in Russia like Sochi, which is one of the best circuits in the world," Todt, 69, said in an interview with TASS. "Why would you want to change it? Why would you want to change Sochi to somewhere else?"
The FIA chief is visiting Moscow over the weekend attending the race of the inaugural Formula E World Championship in Moscow on June 6 and one of the races on the following day of the WTCC (FIA World Touring Car Championship) on the different track of the Russian capital.
"Today we have the race in the center of the city," Todt remarked about the Moscow ePrix held in the historical downtown of Moscow. "Tomorrow we have the race in Moscow circuit… In October you have the race in Sochi… Why would you want to change it?" the FIA president said commenting on the possibility of moving Russian F1 GP to another location.
Popularity of auto racing in Russia skyrocketed last year as the country held its inaugural Formula One Grand Prix in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. Over 166,000 people, including at least 500 high-ranking guests from Russia and abroad, visited Sochi between October 10 and 12 for Russia’s first ever Formula One Grand Prix.
Live television coverage of the race in Sochi, which was provided by Russia’s Rossiya-2 channel, watched 3.4 million people across Russia and it was three times as many comparing with the figure of Russian viewers watching on the average other F1 Grand Prix races.
Last December, Sochi Autodrom, which organized the track for F1 racing in Russia, was awarded the trophy of the Formula One’s best racing track in the 2014 season.
One month before the award, FIA also issued a license for the Moscow Raceway circuit, a racing track outside the Russian capital, officially confirming the track as suitable for hosting Formula One races.
On top of all, Moscow was the venue on Saturday of its first ever FIA authorized car race in the historic downtown as the ninth round of the world’s first world championship of electricity-powered bolides, Formula E.
Formula E is a new FIA single-seater championship and the world's first fully-electric racing series.
All cars racing in the FIA Formula E championship are identical, therefore the drivers are in equal positions. The car weighs little less than 900 kilograms with the battery being the heaviest part of the vehicle weighing 320 kilograms. With the maximum power of 200 kW (270 hp) the car is capable of reaching the speed of 100 kmph in three seconds and its maximum speed is limited to 225 kmph.