Sebastian Vettel has made an exploratory visit to the new Sochi Olympic Park Circuit in Russia, planned to host a future round of the Formula One World Championship.
Fresh from his win at the weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix – where his Infiniti Red Bull Racing teammate Mark Webber finished seventh – Vettel drove part of the new Sochi Olympic Park Circuit located in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, in an Infiniti FX Vettel Edition road car joined by ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard.
Still under construction, the Russian circuit, which hopes to host an F1 round in 2014 following next year’s Winter Olympic Games, will be 5.9km long, include 18 turns and will be the third-longest of all current F1 circuits after Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps and Great Britain’s Silverstone.
Vettel said it was a privilege to be the first Formula One driver to visit the new venue and said he was looking forward to coming back for the Grand Prix in 2014.
“I can already see it will be a fun circuit to drive in a Formula 1 car and the rest of the venue is very impressive.”
Reportedly “on schedule”, construction of the Sochi racetrack is part of a post-Olympic heritage program designed to utilise the infrastructure built for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
Vettel’s track visit is the second time the Red Bull driver has been the first person to sample a planned future Grand Prix venue, after steering an Infiniti G Coupe around the intended New Jersey circuit in the US in 2012.
The German racer – and three-time F1 World Champion – was also recently announced as Infiniti’s director of performance.