MOSCOW, July 6. /TASS/. An initiative of holding the Grand Prix of Russia of the most prestigious world auto racing series, FIA Formula 1, in St. Petersburg starting from 2023, has been unanimously approved by all parties, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko told TASS on Tuesday.
The Formula One press office announced on June 26 that the Igora Drive racing track near St. Petersburg will host the Russian stage of Formula One races from 2023.
"The initiative of holding the [2023 FIA F1] in Saint Petersburg has been approved by all parties," said Chernyshenko, who oversees issues of sports, culture, and tourism in the Russian government and also chairs the local committee on the F1 GP in Russia organization, said.
"F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said during his recent visit to Russia that it [the racing track near St. Petersburg] was a perfect location for holding the race and our task now is to make sure that the new Grand Prix assumes a significant place in the calendar of F1 racing and becomes another venue of the tourism attraction, which St. Petersburg is already famous for," Chernyshenko continued.
"If speaking about Sochi, the racing track there and the whole Olympic Park will get a new boost for the development as part of the federal territory," the Russian official stated. "It is important to provide an effective use of the post-Olympic heritage."
In November 2020, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) has issued an official license for the Igora Drive circuit, acknowledging the track as suitable for hosting Formula One races.
The Igora Drive became Russia’s third auto racing track, which was officially licensed by FIA for holding Formula One races. Sochi Autodrom racing track, which has been hosting F1 Russia Grands Prix since 2014, was the first track to receive this privilege. The Moscow Raceway circuit, a racing track outside the Russian capital, was also licensed by FIA in October 2014 for hosting F1 races.
The construction of the Igora Drive, which is located about 55 kilometers (34 miles) from St. Petersburg, began in 2016. The 4,084-kilometers racing circuit neighbors on a multi-sport complex, which offers rally cross and motor cross circuits, a karting circuit, as well as an off-road driving center.
The Igora Drive was designed by Hermann Tilke, an author of numerous FIA Grade 1 racing tracks, which host Formula 1 Grands Prix. Sochi Autodrom race track in the Russian southern resort city of Sochi was also designed by Hermann Tilke.
The Sochi Autodrom is the only racing circuit in Russia that hosted Formula 1 races. Located in the Olympic Park, the venue of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the 5,848-meter long racing circuit in the Black Sea coastal area has already successfully hosted seven F1 Grand Prix races.
In late 2014, the 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.