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Formula 1 in Russia

KEY DATES​

The first attempts to bring Formula 1 to the Soviet Union were made in 1980. Bernie Ecclestone, who was in charge of F1 for a long time, was in talks with Soviet representatives regarding the organisation of the USSR Grand Prix. But then the talks fell flat.

In the 1990s and in the early 21st century, several more projects for the construction of an F1 circuit in Russia emerged, but they were not implemented.

The modern history of the Russian Grand Prix dates back to 9 October 2010, when the terms of the contract for hosting a round of the World Championship in Sochi were agreed during the negotiations with the head of Formula 1 Bernie Ecclestone. Following that, on 14 October 2010, the contract for the organisation of the Russian Grand Prix between OJSC “Center “Omega” and the Formula One Group was signed in Sochi with support of the Government of the Russian Federation and in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This was a seven-year contract with a renewal option. On 28 October 2010, OJSC “Center “Omega” entered into a circuit design agreement with Tilke GmbH& Co. KG.

Formula Sochi

On July 17th, 2011, as part of a wider scheme to promote motorsport across Russia, the Promoter of the FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX organised the first ever "Formula Sochi" racing festival. Three Formula 1 racing teams – Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Lotus Renault GP and Marussia Virgin Racing – participated in the first event alongside representatives of other racing series, including the KAMAZ-Master team. The "Formula Sochi" festival has since became a highly popular annual event.

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On 21 September 2012, the spectators of the second Formula Sochi motorsport festival saw a stunning show featuring historic Formula 1 cars and representatives of Russian motorsport.
Formula 1 Sochi 2012

On 4 February 2013, head of FORMULA 1 Bernie Ecclestone paid a visit to the circuit in Sochi and spoke highly of the Formula 1 circuit construction progress.

Bernie Ecclestone visited Sochi Autodrom
On 22 April 2013, a section of the future Formula 1 circuit was tested by current Formula 1 world champion, Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel and 2001 Formula 1 world championship runner-up, former driver of three Formula 1 teams David Coulthard.
F1 World Champion, Sebastian Vettel​​

On 27 September 2013, during the XII International Investment Forum, the 2013 Formula Sochi show run took place on a section of the circuit in the Olympic Park. Russian drivers Sergey Sirotkin and Vitaly Petrov were among the guests of the event, the Formula 1 teams Sauber and Marussia. Russian teams Russian Time (GP2) and Yakhnich Motorsport (road circuit racing), participants of the national Formula Russia championship as well as participants of the Eastern European stunt riding championship also came to the event.

Formula Sochi 2013

On 30 May 2014, the Promoter of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix presented the Sochi Autodrom brand. The new www.sochiautodrom.ru website was launched on the same day. It became an official ticket sales channel.

Sochi Autodrom

On 19 August 2014, an FIA delegation led by the Formula 1 Race Director and FIA Safety Delegate Charlie Whiting visited Sochi Autodrom to assess its readiness to host its inaugural F1 world championship round. After the rigorous inspection, the commission decided that the circuit was ready to hold the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix and other international motorsport competitions.

FIA Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting, visited Sochi Autodrom

On 13-14 September 2014, Sochi Autodrom hosted its first official competition – a round of the Russian Circuit Racing Series.

Russian Circuit Racing Series 

On 20 September 2014, the Sochi Autodrom opening ceremony took place as part of the XIII International Investment Forum "Sochi-2014".

Sochi Autodrom Opening

On 9-12 October 2014, the inaugural Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix was successfully held. Its participants highly praised the level of the preparation and organisation of the event. Over 150 thousand people visited Sochi Autodrom over the race weekend. At the FIA Annual General Assembly, the Russian Grand Prix was named the best one in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

2014 FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX

On 8-11 October 2015, the second Grand Prix in Russian history gathered about 150 thousand spectators over four days. The competitions pleased the fans with an intense fight right up to the finish, and a rich entertainment programme delighted the guests of the racetrack. 

2015 FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX

The third Russian Grand Prix was successfully held at Sochi Autodrom from 28 April to 1 May 2016. The competitions were organised at the highest level possible receiving high praise from the competitors and guests of the race.

2016 FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX

On 27 February 2017, it was announced that the current Russian Grand Prix contract was extended for five more years, until 2025.

On 27-30 April 2017, the fourth Russian Grand Prix was held with full grandstands. The Formula 1 round was held with the support of the title partner VTB Group and sponsor LUKOIL.

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On 13 February 2018, head of Formula 1 Chase Carey announced that the rights to organise the Russian Grand Prix were transferred to ANO “ROSGONKI”, which became the owner of Sochi Autodrom in the same year.

On 27-30 September 2018, the fifth Russian Grand Prix was held. The attendance of the round at Sochi Autodrom in 2018 stayed at a high level, and the ticket sales revenue of the organisers was up 72%.

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The sixth Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix was held from 26 to 29 September 2019. The race was held with full grandstands, the new features of the ticket programme served as an additional incentive for the fans.
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