The first attempts to bring F1 to our country were made in the 1980s. Back then 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 the talks fell flat.
In the 1990s and in the 21st century, several more projects for the construction of an F1 circuit in Russia emerged, but they were not implemented.
The modern history of Formula 1 in Russia started on
October 9th, 2010 when negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone, the Head of Formula 1, resulted in an agreement for hosting Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. Following that, on
October 14th, 2010 Formula One Management and Center Omega, supported by the Russian Government and Vladimir Putin, had signed a contract for organisation of FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX. The seven-year deal has a renewal option. On
October 28th, 2010 Center Omega signed a contract with Tilke GmbH & Co. KG to design and develop a circuit capable of hosting a FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX.
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.
September 21st, 2012 a captivating show involving vintage Formula 1 cars and other representatives of Russian motorsport disciplines was staged at the circuit to the delight of attending spectators.
February 4th, 2013 Bernie Ecclestone visited Sochi Autodrom and was highly impressed with the construction progress of the circuit.
April 22nd, 2013 the reigning F1 World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, and former F1 driver David Coulthard, tested a stretch of the FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX circuit.
September 27th, 2013 during the 12th International Investment Forum Sochi-2013, the FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX site in the Olympic Park hosted Formula Sochi 2013 exhibition races. Special guests at the event were Russian drivers Sergey Sirotkin and Vitaly Petrov. Sauber, Marussia, Russian Time, Yakhnich Motorsport, Formula-Z teams, Formula Russia series and participants of Eastern European Stunt Riding Championship all put on an incredible show for the attending motorsport fans.
May 30th, 2014 the FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX promoter launched its new brand, Sochi Autodrom, and a new website www.sochiautodrom.ru where fans could go to purchase tickets for the first FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX.
August 19th, 2014 the FIA (International Automobile Federation) delegation led by the FIA Formula 1 race director and safety delegate, Charlie Whiting, visited Sochi Autodrom to assess its readiness for the 2014 FORMULA 1 RUSSIA GRAND PRIX. The FIA inspection studied the quality of the circuit's surface and readiness of Sochi Autodrom's infrastructure to host the Grand Prix. After a thorough check, the commission decided that the Autodrom was ready to host racing competitions of international level.
September 13-14th, 2014 Sochi Autodrom held its first official competition – a round of the Russian Circuit Racing Series.
September 20th, 2014 the Sochi Autodrom venue was officially declared open during the 13th International Investment Forum Sochi-2014.
October 9-12th, 2014 the first ever FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX took place at Sochi Autodrom. About 150,000 people visited Sochi Autodrom during the race weekend and it was widely considered to have been a thorough success. The 2014 Russian Grand Prix was named the Best Grand Prix of the Formula One World Championship at the annual FIA General Assembly.
October 8-11, 2015, the second Russian Grand Prix gathered even more people in the stands - 62,000 - with about 150,000 spectators over four days of the race. The race was more exciting this time pleasing the audience with intense fighting until the very end.
The third Russian Grand Prix was successfully held at the Sochi Autodrom from
April 29 to
May 1, 2016. The competition was held at the highest organizational level, deserving positive feedback from the participants and guests of the race.
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.
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%.