Sebastian Vettel becomes first Formula One driver to sample new Grand Prix venue in Sochi, Russia.
Triple world champion Sebastian Vettel made history again today by becoming the first Formula One driver to experience the Sochi Olympic Park Circuit in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai,
Vettel, recently announced as Infiniti’s Director of Performance, was joined by former Formula One driver David Coulthard in driving part of the track, which is still under construction, in an FX Vettel Edition amongst other Infiniti
He then toured the sports venue with officials from the Russian Government and Formula Sochi, the organising body, before offering his thoughts of the venue in a press conference held in the Olympic Ice Skating arena.
Once complete, the 3.7 mile Sochi Olympic Park Circuit, scene of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, will be the third longest circuit on the Formula One calendar behind Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and Silverstone in Britain.
Today’s visit is the second time Infiniti and Vettel have been the first to sample a planned new Grand Prix venue. In June 2012, The Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver took the wheel of an Infiniti IPL G Coupe and drove the first ever lap of the planned New Jersey circuit in the United States.
Commenting on his experience in Russia, Sebastian Vettel said: “It is a great privilege to be the first Formula One driver to visit the new Sochi venue. After trying a section of the track in the FX Vettel Edition, I can already see it will be a fun circuit to drive in a Formula One car and the rest of the venue is very impressive. I’m really looking forward to coming back here for the Grand Prix next year.”
Oleg Zabara, Deputy General Director of OJSC "Center "OMEGA", responsible for preparations and organisation of the Russian Grand Prix said: "The racing circuit in Sochi is part of the post-Olympic heritage program, designed to utilise the infrastructure built for the Winter Olympic Games.
Construction of the track and the main facilities is on schedule, and in 2014 the world will see the new world-class circuit. Hosting a Formula One Grand Prix is a key project for this country, highlighting the status and the image of modern Russia.”
Russia’s inaugural Formula One race is scheduled for 2014, after the Winter Olympics. The circuit’s integration into Olympic Park infrastructure is the key feature of the Russian venue.
Formula One circuit in figures:
Circuit length: 5854 km
Maximum speed: 320 km/h
Circuit width: 13-15 m
Number of turns: 18
Total area of the circuit construction site and its infrastructure: 36 ha
Developer and operator of the circuit is OJSC "Center "OMEGA"
Designer of the circuit: Tilke GmbH & Co.KG
Infiniti Performance Team