Russian circuit 'on schedule' for 2014 season
14 November 2012 – Circuit designer Hermann Tilke has confirmed that Russia is well on course to host its maiden Formula 1 Grand Prix during the 2014 season. The country will debut on the calendar with a brand-new facility in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The Sochi track will weave around the Olympic Park which will be hosting that year’s Winter Games, after the Grand Prix takes place around July time.
“We are off to Sochi, the track is under construction,” Tilke, whose first F1 design was Sepang in 1998, told German press agency DPA. “It’s on schedule, all good. Besides, we have to be ready for 2014!”
“The ground conditions were not easy, we had to replace a lot of ground,” he says of building the Austin facility. “Then we had to figure out how we could ensure the buildings would be stable. As is well known, there was a three-month construction freeze (due to a financial disagreement between the former race promoters), but the American contractors have more than made up for that.
“We have taken advantage of every elevation - it is constantly heading up and downhill. There are fast corner combinations which lead to these hills and that’s what makes it especially interesting. You’re always going to face teething troubles, but before such a debut it’s always exciting to see that everything is working well; just in case, we will have 20 engineers and architects on site, sticking around as a stand-by team so we can react quickly if something does go technologically wrong.”
Tilke is the favoured track architect of FOM head Bernie Ecclestone. Of those venues on the current 20-race calendar, his works range from Bahrain’s Sakhir to the new-look Hockenheim which replaced the fast blasts through the forests after 2001.