Russia ready for F1 in 2003

Grigori Antioufeev, the boss of the project that is aiming to take Formula 1 to Russia in time for the 2003 season, is adamant the race will go ahead. Grigori Antioufeev, chairman of the Moscow Committee for Tourism, is behind the consortium that...

Grigori Antioufeev, the boss of the project that is aiming to take Formula 1 to Russia in time for the 2003 season, is adamant the race will go ahead. Grigori Antioufeev, chairman of the Moscow Committee for Tourism, is behind the consortium that is planning to construct a brand new circuit on Nagatino Island on the outskirts of Moscow.

The project has the full backing of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Antioufeev denies that the circuit will go the same way as previous failed attempts to bring Grand Prix racing to Russia.

Said Antioufeev: "I have worked on this project for 15 months. We have looked at why so many Grand Prix projects in Russia came to nothing more than a couple of statements. And we figured there were roughly three reasons for the failure. Firstly the wrong places were chosen, secondly there was no help from official organisations and thirdly there were no serious partners or investors. All these points are taken care of in our plan: and that is why we will not fail."

Final approval has been granted for the new 3.6 kilometre F1 circuit in Moscow to be built south of the Red Square on Nagatino Island in association with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) and is set to be ready for action by 2003. Grigori Antioufeev has said the work will begin at the end of November, despite the consistently freezing temperatures: "It is normal to work through the winter, down to minus 20 degrees Celsius, we are used to it. Our planning for this includes using the biggest and most famous building companies in our country, but a final decision on who does what has not yet been taken." The circuit will be one of the shortest tracks on the F1 calender and will have a host of amusement attractions and luxury hotels.

The ultimate decision to stage a Grand Prix in Moscow in 2003 will be down to the F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone. If he does decide on 2003, one Grand Prix will have to be dropped from the calender with San Marino and Silverstone thought to be top of the list.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone , Tom Walkinshaw