'Sochi Autodrom is ready to host a Formula 1 race,' says Charlie Whiting of the FIA.
A FIA delegation, led by the FIA Formula One Race Director and Safety Delegate,Charlie Whiting, inspected the readiness of the Sochi Autodrom circuit ahead of the inaugural 2014 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.
The inspection evaluated the quality of the track and the venue itself to ensure it is fit for the purpose of hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix race. After carrying out a thorough inspection of the newest venue on the Formula 1 calendar, the commission delivered a hugely positive verdict, declaring the Sochi Autodrom ready to host the premier motor racing competition.
Whiting confirmed that the Sochi Autodrom has everything in place to ensure a safe and spectacular Formula 1 Grand Prix in early October. This positive verdict is a huge vindication for all of Sochi Autodrom’s hardworking staff, whose great efforts ensured that all the final touches were applied to this amazing new circuit in time for today’s inspection.
Having already declared himself a big fan of the new circuit in previous interviews, Charlie Whiting once again reiterated just how impressed he has been by the Sochi Autodrom. “The circuit is in extremely good condition and – yes - it will be issued with a license. Everything has been done according to the plans – the kerbs are very good, the verges, the guardrails, the walls – everything is in an extremely good condition. Everything has been done to the highest standards and I’m extremely pleased. I can say without hesitation that the circuit is ready 60 days in advance, which is very rare really.”
State of the art
When asked to comment on the condition of the Race Control building, the head of the FIA delegation to Sochi said, “Well, it’s state of the art, it’s very good, and I was very impressed when I walked in to the Race Control building. It really does look extremely impressive. Fundamentally, all Race Control buildings are the same, but in this particular case it’s been done with very latest high-tech equipment. The images we see at race control are absolutely superb.”
As to whether he will visit Sochi Autodrom again before the inaugural Russian Grand Prix in October, he said, “I don’t know at the moment, but it should not be necessary. What I’ve seen today gives me complete comfort that the circuit will be entirely ready when I come back for the Grand Prix.”
In light of the positive endorsement by the FIA delegation, the promoter of the 2014 F1 Russian GP, Sergey Vorobyev said, “We were ready for Mr. Whiting’s visit and we want to congratulate our builders who have made this positive verdict happen. We were confident that FIA would appreciate the efforts made by our team to implement the technical details that have been so highly reviewed by Mr. Whiting today. Now that Sochi Autodrom has received a license, everything else is up to the organizers of the events and as such we are working intensely on ensuring that all aspects of the event are fully prepared. It is our aim to make this a truly unforgettable event with the comfort and enjoyment of our guests at the forefront of all our efforts.”