Bahrain circuit on target

The president of the new Bahrain circuit is confident the construction work is on target and the track will be ready for its Formula One debut in 2004. An estimated $150 million is being spent on the track, near Sakhir, which will host the third...

The president of the new Bahrain circuit is confident the construction work is on target and the track will be ready for its Formula One debut in 2004. An estimated $150 million is being spent on the track, near Sakhir, which will host the third round of the championship on April 4th. The construction is presently about half way through.

"The work will be finished on time, there is no reason to be worried," said Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa. "Any delay is to be regretted, but even during the Iraq war, work did not stop."

Hans Geist, executive director, believes the track itself will be complete by the end of this year: "The surface of the tracks is one of the last stages in the construction of the circuit and it will be completed in six weeks," he said. "The tracks will be ready by December."

China is the second new circuit on the 2004 calendar, and, like Bahrain, is also still under construction. Meanwhile, Russia has not given up its F1 hopes. Negotiations began last year in Moscow but fell through before construction really started.

Deputy mayor of Moscow Valery Shantsev said he and Bernie Ecclestone could not agree on the allocation of the revenue from ticket and advertising sales. But negotiations are ongoing and Russia intends to have its Grand Prix in the not too far distant future.

"We haven't broken our dealings with Ecclestone completely," said Shantsev. "I'm sure, sooner or later, Formula One will come to us. The F1 business goes to nearly every major city in the world, so it will come here, too."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone