MARCH 21, 2002
Ecclestone heads for Moscow
FORMULA 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is reported to be on his way to Moscow at the end of the week to sign a deal to run a Grand Prix in the city. This report is decidedly odd as it should be remembered that in November 2000 Tom Walkinshaw signed an agreement with the Moscow city government to create and develop an international racing facility in Moscow. The project was to be on an island in the Nagatino-Sadovniki district of Moscow. Four days after the deal was signed the man who had negotiated it deputy-mayor Iosif Ordzhonikidze was seriously injured in an attempted assassination. In February 2001, however, another deputy mayor Grigorij Antjufeev flew to London and met Ecclestone and in May Ecclestone went to Moscow to meet the authorities and announced that Formula 1 would visit the city as soon as the Russians build a circuit.
Construction for the Nagatino Island project was due to start last year but nothing has yet been built and Maria Lekukh, a spokeswoman for the organizers, told Reuters that the planning was completed but "I don't think they will
start construction until all the documents are signed."
Lekukh said that Ecclestone will be in Moscow to sign a deal but it is not clear how this fits in with the deal which Walkinshaw signed in November 2000.
It should be remembered that in February 2000 the Moscow City government voted to build an F1 standard racing circuit at Molzhaneyevsky, close to Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, to the north of the city.
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