Russian Grand Prix set to shift to the Igora Drive circuit

The Russian Grand Prix will move from Sochi to a new circuit outside St Petersburg.

On Saturday, Formula One announced that the Russian Grand Prix will move from Sochi to a new purpose-built circuit outside St Petersburg from 2023. Sochi’s Olympic park has held the race since 2014, the year the Winter Olympics was hosted at Black Sea resort, but will switch to the new Igora Drive circuit 54km from St Petersburg.

Formula One said in a statement, “We are looking forward to racing in a hugely exciting location that includes 10 professional tracks for racing and testing over approximately 100 hectares.”

The Finnish border is some 150km from Igora Drive and hence would be more accessible than Sochi for both Russian and international fans. Finland has never hosted a championship race but has produced three F1 champions. The new circuit received a Grade One licence in 2020 and was designed by German architect Hermann Tilke.

Formula One chief executive Stefano said, “I am impressed by St Petersburg and believe that the Russian Grand Prix at Igora Drive will be an incredible event.” Sochi has a contract with Formula 1 until 2025, and this year’s race in the city is scheduled for September 26.

Seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton has been triumphant four times, with Mercedes, while the company has won all seven Russian Grands Prix to date. Russian President Vladimir Putin was also born in St. Petersburg and has regularly attended the race in Sochi to hand out the winner’s trophy.

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