Russian Grand Prix
|Sochi Olympic Park Circuit|
|Circuit length||5.872 km (3.649 mi)|
|Race length||305.344 km (189.748 mi)|
|Number of times held||2|
|Most wins (constructors)||Benz (2)|
|Last race (1914)|
The Russian Grand Prix (Russian: Гран-при России) was a Grand Prix motor race briefly held in the 1910s in St. Petersburg. It is expected that on the 100th anniversary of the last Russian Grand Prix, a new round of the Formula One World Championship will join the calendar in 2014. After several decades of attempting to re-establish the race, Bernie Ecclestone and the head of Krasnodarsky Krai Development Technologies Sharing Centre Mikhail Kapirulin officially signed a contract in attendance of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin for the race to be run in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on a yet to be constructed Olympic Park Circuit.
The Russian Grand Prix was run twice, in 1913 and 1914 at a circuit in St. Petersburg. The first race was won by Russian driver G. Suvorin, whilst German Willy Scholl won the 1914 event. The race was abandoned following the outbreak of the First World War and the Russian Civil War, and it was not resumed with the establishment of the Soviet Union.
1913 race results
- 1. G. Suvorin (Benz) 2:23:54.6
- 2. I. Ivanov (Russo-Balt) +2:56.4
- 3. Rene Nothombe (Métallurgique) +5:24.4
1914 race results
- 1. Willy Schöll (Benz) 1:48:32.2
- 2. S. Ovsyannikov (Vauxhall) +10:31.6
- 3. Beria d'Argentine (Aquila Italiana) +13:08.6
Plans for a Grand Prix in Russia emerged in the early 1980s, with a proposed circuit in Moscow to be run under the title of the "Grand Prix of the Soviet Union". The race was included on a provisional calendar for 1983, but bureaucratic barriers prevented the Grand Prix from being held, and the race was removed from all subsequent revisions of the calendar. Nevertheless, Bernie Ecclestone continued in his quest to organise a race behind the Iron Curtain, and Hungary became the first communist country to host a race instead, joining the calendar in 1986.
In 2001, Vladimir Putin, then serving as President of Russia, expressed personal support to the project of the "Pulkovskoe Ring" near the Pulkovo Airport, but the race never came to fruition. Another attempt was made in 2003, with the Moscow council approving a project to build a track in the Molzhaninovsky area in the Northern District of Moscow, to be known as Nagatino Island. The project was abandoned after a dispute over the commercial contract. In September 2008, it was revealed that work was to begin on a Formula One circuit to be located at the town of Fedyukino, Volokolamsky District of the Moscow Province, approximately 77 kilometers (48 mi) away from Moscow. Known as the Moscow Raceway, the track was designed by Hermann Tilke to host both Formula One and Moto GP races. The plan to host a Grand Prix at the Moscow Raceway was never realised, but unlike the Pulkovskoe Ring and Nagatino Island projects, the circuit was completed, and in 2012, hosted rounds of the Formula Renault 3.5 and 2.0 Series — which became the first internationally-accredited motorsport events to hold a round in Russia — as well as the FIA GT1 World Championship, and the Superbike World Championship.
Vitaly Petrov became Russia's first Formula One World Championship driver in 2010, when he joined Renault, adding further momentum to the project. Bernie Ecclestone expressed a desire to see Formula One travel to Russia at a circuit in or near Moscow or at the resort city of Sochi, the latter of which later secured the rights to host the race. Plans were unveiled for a 5.9 km circuit to be run in and around the site of the 2014 Olympic Village on the Black Sea coast, with a deal in place for seven years, from 2014 to 2020.
Winners of the Russian Grand Prix
Events which were not part of the Formula One World Championship are indicated by a pink background.
|1914||Willy Schöll||Benz||Saint Petersburg||Report|
|1913||Georgy Suvorin||Benz||Saint Petersburg||Report|
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