The Sochi International Street Circuit is nearing completion after the final layer of asphalt was laid ahead of its first hosting of the Russian Grand Prix this October.
The grand prix will be the first in Russia for 100 years, with two races being held in St. Petersburg in 1913 and 1914 before the outbreak of World War One, and it fulfils the long-term goal of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to take the sport to Russia.
All of the arrangements for the race to go ahead appear to have been made, with FIA race director Charlie Whiting visiting the circuit last month to see how the development was going.
“The last time I was here, it was a big building site. It’s been a year since I’ve been here and it looks beautiful now,” he said. “The track itself is going to be really fast and the drivers will love it. I’m sure of that.
“It’s clear that everything has been done really nicely. It will be a fast track, and I think it will be a really competitive track as there will be at least two or three places where drivers can overtake properly. I think that will be a very interesting track and a very spectacular race.”
Now that the final layer of asphalt has been laid, the last few arrangements can be made for the race which will take place on October 12th.
Of course, the race has come under intense scrutiny following the MH17 disaster and ongoing tensions in the region. Despite calls for the race to be cancelled, the eleven Formula 1 teams have confirmed that they will follow the lead of the sport’s governing body, the FIA, for the race.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”