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Formula 1 racetrack in Russia’s Sochi to get new owner

Terms and conditions are currently being discussed, an Omega Center spokesperson said
Formula 1 racetrack in Sochi  Alexander Demyanchuk/TASS
Formula 1 racetrack in Sochi
© Alexander Demyanchuk/TASS

SOCHI, February 3. /TASS/. The Formula 1 racetrack in the Olympic Park of the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, currently owned by the regional administration’s "Center Omega" enterprise, will get a new owner, an Omega Center spokesperson told TASS on Saturday.

"The racetracks are being handed over, terms and conditions are currently being discussed," she said.

According to a statement on the Russian government’s official website, legislation amendments are currently being prepared to make the racetrack state-owned or to hand it over to a non-commercial organization, exempt from the value-added tax.

The new owner’s statutory goal will be to "popularize and hold the FIA Formula 1 world championships."

The amendments are to enter force in July 2019.

According to earlier reports, a non-commercial organization ‘Rosgonki’ (Russian races) was registered in Russia in 2017, with an aim to organize future Formula One races in Sochi. Its founders are Center Omega, state-owned VTB bank (title sponsor of the Sochi event) and the Russian auto sport federation.

The racing track in Sochi was inaugurated in October 2014. Currently, the contract to host the Formula One Russian Grand Prix is held by Center Omega, which is 100% owned by the government of South Russia’s Krasnodar Territory. The contract is valid until 2025. The next Russian Grand Prix will be held on September 28-30.

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’s former chief executive Bernie Ecclestone. In early 2017, the contract to hold F1 racing in Russia’s Sochi was extended until 2025.

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.