Russian Grand Prix set to move to the Igora Drive circuit from 2023

The Russian Grand Prix will move from Sochi to a new purpose-built circuit outside St Petersburg from 2023, Formula One announced on Saturday.

The Russian Grand Prix will move from Sochi to a new purpose-built circuit outside St Petersburg from 2023.   -  Getty Images

The Russian Grand Prix will move from Sochi to a new purpose-built circuit outside St Petersburg from 2023, Formula One announced on Saturday.

The race has been held in Sochi's Olympic park since 2014, the year the Black Sea resort hosted the Winter Olympics, but will switch to the new Igora Drive circuit 54km from St Petersburg.

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"We are looking forward to racing in a hugely exciting location that includes 10 professional tracks for racing and testing over approximately 100 hectares," Formula One said in a statement.

Igora Drive is some 150km from the Finnish border and should be more accessible than Sochi for Russian and international fans alike. Finland has produced three F1 champions but never hosted a championship race.

The new circuit was designed by German architect Hermann Tilke and received a Grade One licence in 2020.

The circuit would have hosted a round of the German Touring Car Championship (DTM), as well as the all-female W Series, last year but those races were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"I am impressed by St Petersburg and believe that the Russian Grand Prix at Igora Drive will be an incredible event," said Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

This year's race in Sochi, which had a contract until 2025, is scheduled for September 26.

Champion Mercedes has won all seven Russian Grands Prix to date, with seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton triumphant four times.

St Petersburg is the birthplace of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has regularly attended the race in Sochi to hand out the winner's trophy.

Formula One, whose commercial rights are owned by U.S.-based Liberty Media, has been open about wanting to host more races in or near 'destination cities'.

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