Russia increasingly saying ‘dah!’ to F1 racing: new track in Moscow announced

1 Comment

As the country prepares for its first Formula One race 16 months from now in Sochi, Ria Novosti Sport reported Wednesday that that the Russian government will begin construction next year on a permanent F1 race track near Moscow.

“On this track, it will be possible to hold a round of Formula One racing. The rest of the time it could be used by car fans and for motorsport competitions,” said Moscow development official Vladimir Zhidkin.

The track is to be located near Vnukovo Airport, south of the Russian capital. Construction is slated to begin sometime next year, with completion due in 2016.

Sochi, located along the Black Sea, will play host to the upcoming Winter Olympics first early in 2014. Then, nearly nine months later in either late October or early November, Sochi will host the first Russian Grand Prix on a street course that will be constructed around some of the key Olympic venues.

Moscow already has one major racetrack, Moscow Raceway, which opened last year. While that track is certified to hold F1 testing, according to Ria Novosti Sport, it would need upgrades to both access and accommodations.

Moscow Raceway already hosts a number of events, including rounds of the World Series by Renault, the World Superbike Championship and the DTM German Touring Car Championship.

F1 2017 driver review: Max Verstappen

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Max Verstappen

Team: Red Bull Racing
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 2
Podiums (excluding wins): 2
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 168
Laps Led: 133
Championship Position: 6th

Max Verstappen rise as a once-in-a-generation talent continued through the 2017 Formula 1 season, even if reliability issues meant we were made to wait for his best form to arrive.

Verstappen stole the show in a wet-dry Chinese Grand Prix by charging from 16th to seventh in the opening lap before ultimately finishing third for Red Bull, yet he would not grace the podium again until the Malaysian Grand Prix at the start of October.

A combination of power unit problems and on-track clashes saw Verstappen retire from seven of the 12 races in the intermittent period, with incidents in Spain and Austria being avoidable.

Perhaps most embarrassing of all was his stoppage due to a power unit failure in front of a grandstand swathed in orange at the Belgian Grand Prix, a race tens of thousands of Dutch fans had attended to cheer Verstappen on.

But when Verstappen got things right, it was – as he frequently quoted – simply, simply lovely. There was plenty left in the tank, as proven by his sheer domination of the races in Malaysia and Mexico as he took the second and third wins of his career.

Perhaps even more impressive was Verstappen’s victory over Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the qualifying head-to-head battle this year, an area the Australian has traditionally been strong in. Verstappen outqualifed his teammate 13-7 – it wasn’t even close…

All in all, Verstappen once again proved that on his day, he is one of the finest talents to grace F1 in recent years. With the right car underneath him next year, a title fight is certainly possible and will be the target – but there is always room for improvement.

And that is the scary part: Verstappen is only going to get better and better.

Season High: Dominating in Malaysia after an early pass on Lewis Hamilton.

Season Low: Crashing out on Lap 1 in Austria.