Russians confirm 2003 race bid

THE Russian government has confirmed that it is bidding for a Grand Prix in 2003 although work has yet to begin on the construction of the racing circuit. With the Russian winter now coming on no work is expected until next Spring. The planned circuit on Nagatino Island, in the southern suburbs of the city, has been named as the venue and work has been done in recent months to create a better transport infrastructure linking the island with the city center.

There remains must scepticism in F1 circles about the event although F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said on a visit to Moscow in May that there would be a race as soon as the Russians built a circuit but carefully added a proviso that "if all goes to plan".

To begin with the F1 calendar is fairly full at the moment and there are contracts in place which mean that there are few openings in the next two or three years. In addition to that there are other venues which are much more attractive to F1, notably China, the Middle East and a second race in the United States of America.

Having said that, money is a powerful influence in top end of F1 and so if the Russians come up with enough cash to build the track and pay the necessary fees to the Formula One group of companies it is possible that there might be a race. However as the structure of F1 financing is currently under discussion it may not be as simple as that as the ownership of the fees paid by race organizers is one of the big issues to be resolved.

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