The Sochi circuit, located in the Black Sea resort of the same name, is the first purpose-built Formula One facility in Russia and hosts the country’s inaugural Grand Prix in October 2014, in the same year that the city also stages the Winter Olympics.

Sochi’s Formula One relationship formally began in October 2010, when an agreement to host a Grand Prix was signed between race promoters OJSC Center Omega and the Formula One group of companies, with the support of the Russian government and in the presence of Vladimir Putin.

Construction of the 5.853-kilometre track has come under the design supervision of renowned circuit architect Hermann Tilke. The circuit is integrated into the Olympic Park infrastructure, with facilities located in close vicinity to the Olympic Park railway station and to the roads which connect the Olympic venues with Sochi International Airport.

The track width varies from 13 metres at its narrowest point to 15 metres at the start-finish line. The circuit, which runs in a clockwise direction, consists of 12 right- and six left-hand corners, and combines both high-speed and technical sections. Formula One cars are expected to reach a maximum speed of 320 km/h on the 650-metre straight between the first and second turns, with an average lap speed of around 215 km/h.

“The circuit is going to be very fast and technical and offering a number of interesting features,” says Tilke of the 55,000-capacity venue. “It is a fantastic facility with a great atmosphere and it will be outstanding as the circuit will run through the Olympic Park. I am very optimistic about the future of the unique racing track in Sochi, and am looking forward to a triumphant start of Formula One racing in Russia.”