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Formula One Comes to Russia What to Expect
November 17, 2010 16:59

For Russia this year is definitely the year of the world-famous auto race. Just think – a Russian driver has finished his first full season n the race, and Russian goverment has signed a contract on bringing the F1 race to our country.

Formula One is a very expensive (perhaps, even most expensive) high-class automobile racing with one seat per car. F1 gathers about 600 million people near their TVs during live shows from the tracks. Successful racing is closely tied with financial success, being a symbol of financial power and stability of a country, participating in the race. Construction and maintenance of race cars require millions of dollars, and training drivers of the race also isn’t a cheapest thing in the world.

Russia is not used to financial investments by large corporations into motor racing, and that is why here there are no tax privileges for sponsoring companies, which are an essential part of motor racing in many other countries. In 2010 Russian government finally showed intention to support for investing money in motor racing – Russia supported its citizen Vitaliy Petrov in Formula One championship and made a contract for opening an F1 track in Sochi and making Formula One Grand Prix of Russia.

Russia has invested a giant heap of money in this extremely ambitions project, and now we are waiting for one of the two possible scenarios for spending these money to come true. These scenarios are following: money becomes a basis for development of national motor racing, or they will be spent of several GPs and then forgotten. The history of motor racing knows examples of both scenarios.



In 1927 construction of Nürburgring had started in order to bring fresh air to the backward Eifel region and to create new jobs. After construction the track immediately started hosting a bunch of motor racing events, including Formula One GPs. The track is always busy, and it makes Nürburgring one of the most profitable motor racing tracks in the world. The success story of this track is based local racers – German racers were strong competitors in all international racing series, thus becoming stars and attracting many fans and various competitions to the place.

The example of the opposite scenario is Dubai GP track. When the GP ends, this track is a dead piece of concrete, worth $200 million, because there are no local racers to compete on it. How the track in Sochi would work is still unknown – it can be either temporary (actively used only during the GP), or partly used for races of other championships and test drives. The country needs permanent playground for motor racing, but in this case we also need strong Russian drivers, which can compete with other countries in all international motor racing championships.

Russian drivers do participate in some other championships and even win them. However, lack of funding threatens to nullify all efforts, since drivers often cannot afford participation in expensive Grand Prizes. Russian currently supports one driver in Formula One Championship and has agreed to be a title supporter of one team. However, motor racing becomes more and more popular between Russian politicians and businessmen, and this gives hope that this sport will finally flourish in our country.


Anna Kizilova

Tags: Formula one Sports Sochi   

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