Red Bull have made a habit of being the first F1 team on the scene when a new F1 track is under construction.
They kept up their streak by getting Sebastian Vettel out to Sochi to explore the contours of its grand prix circuit which will hold the first Russian Grand Prix in 19 months’ time.
Fresh from his victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix Vettel took the opportunity to drive around the circuit, still in the early stages of being built, in a road car.
The street circuit, planned by ubiquitous F1 track designer Hermann Tilke, runs through the site of the complex which will host next year’s winter Olympics in February. After that the organizers will have nine months to prepare for F1’s planned arrival in November.
“By the looks of it, by the drawing, I think it could be a very interesting and challenging track,” said Vettel, adding there was “some fast corners and hopefully plenty of places to overtake”.
Formula One is the latest racing series to venture into Russia. Formula Renault 3.5 held its first race at the Moscow Raceway last year and the DTM (German Touring Car Championship) will also race there this year.
See footage of Vettel driving the Sochi track below:
ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.