In a bid to boost publicity for Russia, Bernie Ecclestone reportedly signed a deal today with Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, to host a race in the 2014 season.
In the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Ecclestone reportedly told Putin:
“I’m very happy not only to have Formula One in Russia, but now in Sochi I’m delighted to see all the facilities you’ve built for the Olympics,”“I sincerely hope that Formula One is going to play a big part in what I can see happening in Sochi.”
Mr Putin reportedly said the agreement is “very important, because we need to make use of everything that we’re creating” for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. “Construction of the racetrack will give our athletes a training facility and attract the attention of young people.”
Sponsors of the Sochi Grand Prix are set to include OAO Lukoil, Russia’s largest non-state oil producer, billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element, OAO MegaFon, Russia’s third-largest cellular company, and Russian Technologies Corp., a state holding with assets from weapons to cars.
Formula One currently consists of 19 races and according to Mr Ecclestone, "puts countries on the map."
Will this mean that Melbourne is replaced as one of the Formula One destinations? We will just have to wait and see. What do you think? Should Melbourne be replaced by Russia as a Formula One host for 2014?