Russia considering night F1 grand prix

Russian Grand Prix promoters are close to making a final decision about whether or not to push ahead with plans for a night race in 2017.

Sochi held its first grand prix last year and race organisers have been open from the start about their interest in turning the event into a night race.

During a visit to the Belgian Grand Prix, Dr. Alexander Saurin, vice-governor of the Krasnodar region that backs the race, said that analysis about the financial implications of a night race was ongoing.

A final call would be made soon on whether it made sense to invest in lighting equipment, and if the decision was in favour of the move then a change could be made for after next year.

When asked by about the possibility of a night race, Saurin said: "We are assessing this idea, from a commercial and technical point of view. And now we are calculating the cost of it.

"As soon as the calculation of cost is done, we will assess the feasibility. We are working towards having a night race some time in the future."

Saurin added that the plans would not result in a change in the timing of the race any earlier than 2017.

New contract

Although there has been recent speculation that Russia's plans on the calendar could be in doubt, Saurin said that he was actually looking to extend the deal.

He met with Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone at Spa-Francorchamps to discuss the future, and a potential contract extension beyond 2020.

"We have discussed various matters, including the race of 2016, which will happen at a different time of the year," he said.

"We are accordingly amending some organisational matters, but keeping in mind the significant growth of Formula 1 popularity in Russia we are seriously considering extension of the contract."

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