The 2014 Olympic Winter Games (Feb. 6-23 on the networks of NBCUniversal) won’t be the only big sporting event coming to the Russian seaside city of Sochi this year. More than seven months after the Olympic flame goes out, a new street circuit around Sochi Olympic Park will play host to Formula One’s inaugural Russian Grand Prix in October.
Initially, 13-time Grand Prix winner David Coulthard (pictured, left with Krasnodar region deputy governor Mikhail Buturlakin, center, and four-time reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel, right) wasn’t entirely sure about the prospects of staging an F1 race in Sochi.
But as he notes in a recently posted YouTube video from Red Bull team sponsor Infiniti (see above), a visit to the track construction site caused him to change his mind.
“Having had the chance to go there and see what they’re building for the Olympics, it actually does make sense,” Coulthard says in the clip. “Because they have this venue and once it’s used for the Winter Olympics – how else can you continue to keep stimulating the local economy and make use of the facilities, the hotels and everything?”
Coulthard also says that while the track’s ultimate reputation among drivers is still to be determined, he thinks that Sochi’s location next to the Black Sea, along with all the Olympic investment there, makes the city ready to host the world’s most popular motorsport this coming season.