‘Sochi will be ready to host F1 in 2014’
Sochi will be ready to stage a leg of the Formula One season in November 2014, Anatoly Pakhomov, the mayor of Russia's 2014 Winter Olympic host city confirmed on Monday.
"After the Olympics, Sochi will host the Formula One race in November," Anatoly Pakhomov told Russia's RIA-Novosti news agency.
"The construction of the racing circuit is on schedule," he added.
"The Krasnodar region administration do not have the right for any kind of failure in this project as the country's prestige is at stake," he insisted.
"In the event of any problems we would definitely receive all the required help from our neighbours and state."
Deputy governor of Krasnodar region Nikolai Buturlakin revealed that almost 50 percent of the new F1 track in Sochi's Olympic park was finished in line with the timetable set out in the schedule.
In a deal signed in 2010 Russia is due to host a leg of the F1 series from 2014 to 2020 using infrastructure built for the Games including a stretch of public roads.
Buturlakin said that the overall cost of the racing track and associated infrastructure construction would likely reach eight billion rubles ($266 million).
"Of course it's an expensive project," he said.
"However, taking into consideration all the deferred incomes, which the region and the country will earn from this project, they will definitely cover all the expenses.
"We understand the importance of this project as staging of Formula One races is like the membership in the elite club for Russia.
"It's a very special status and a very special pride for the country to stage this race."
This month President Vladimir Putin met F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone in Sochi and assured him that Russia would be ready to host F1 races in the Russian resort after the Winter Olympics.
Along with the 2014 Games and the 2018 World Cup, the staging of F1 races is at the centrepiece of Putin's plan to make Russia a globally-respected host of international sporting events.