Putin Says Sochi Ready To Host Grand Prix, Ecclestone Applauds Progress
Russia President Vladimir Putin told F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone that the country "is ready to host the Formula One Grand Prix in Sochi after it holds the Winter Olympic Games in the southern Black Sea city" in '14, according to the AFP. Putin "has already agreed with Ecclestone" to hold F1 races at a circuit being built around the Sochi Olympic Park. It will be "the first time Russia will have hosted such an event." Putin said, "I am happy to say that our project is developing. I think that as we planned we can hold our first races in October 2014." The Kremlin quoted Ecclestone saying he was "very impressed" by the work undertaken so far (AFP, 2/4) R-SPORT noted Ecclestone said that Sochi's experience with F1 "was a model for other Olympic hosts." Ecclestone said that Brazil, which will host the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, would be "ashamed" to see Russia's F1 progress. Ecclestone: "In most countries people just build things without knowing what they're going to turn it into afterwards" (R-SPORT, 2/4).