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SOCHI, April 27. /TASS/. Heavy clouds and persistent rain greeted on Wednesday international journalists landing at the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, where they arrived expecting spectacular 2016 FIA Formula One Championship race, scheduled for this weekend.
Although the rain poured over the city most of the day keeping the average temperature of about 14 degrees Centigrade (over 57 Fahrenheit), different languages were spoken at the accreditation center serving the upcoming Russian race of the FIA F1 Championship, often referred to as the Royal Racing.
"This year we expect between 350 and 400 media representatives, both from Russia and abroad," a spokesperson for the Russian organizing body Sochi AutoDrom told TASS. "We had the same number of journalists in the last two years."
This year Russia is holding its FIA Formula One racing Grand Prix for the first time in spring, namely on April 29-May 1, as compared with the two previous races held in autumn of 2014 and 2015 in Sochi.
"Speculating about the weather is not an awarding business," Sergey Vorobyov, the chief promoter of the Russian GP race told TASS. "Moreover, weather forecasters predict sunny weather for the weekend."
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 Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
In late 2014, Sochi Autodrom was awarded the trophy of Formula One’s best racing track of the year. The Race Promoters' Trophy is a rotating award, engraved with the names of other top F1 tracks dating from 1975.
In the year of 2014, 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, according to data from organizers.
Live television coverage of the race in2014, provided by Russia’s Rossiya-2 channel, gathered over 3.4 million people across Russia, three times as many compared with the figure of Russian viewers watching other F1 Grand Prix races on average.