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Putin in Sochi to sign 2014 F1 race contract

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Russian president Vladimir Putin is due to sign the contract for a 2014 Grand Prix in the resort city Sochi on Thursday. It emerged last weekend that F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone had agreed terms for the race, to be held on a bespoke ...

Russian president Vladimir Putin is due to sign the contract for a 2014 Grand Prix in the resort city Sochi on Thursday.

It emerged last weekend that F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone had agreed terms for the race, to be held on a bespoke circuit, and was only waiting for the agreement to be formally signed.

"When the appropriate person from Russia signs it, I will sign it the next day," he told the Kommersant daily.

The Bloomberg news agency said the contract due to be signed by Putin is for an initial seven years, with an option for a further five Grands Prix beyond 2020.

Ecclestone said Russia's annual fee would be about $40 million, comparable to what new hosts Singapore and Abu Dhabi pay. Kommersant said the Sochi circuit would cost about $200 million.

In 2014, Sochi - located in Russia's southern federal district - is also due to host the Winter Olympics.

Putin is also backing Russia's bid for the 2018 World Cup, with Sochi earmarked for a stadium.

In March, he announced Russia's support of the country's first Formula One driver Vitaly Petrov in the form of Lada backing for the Renault team.

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