MARCH 23, 2002
Why the Russian GP has been delayed
BERNIE ECCLESTONE and the Russian authorities have failed to agree on a deal to stage a Russian Grand Prix next year. The talks are now moving towards plans to host a race in 2004. Ecclestone said that the problem has arisen over different interpretations of the contract. He said that the deal will be signed soon but it is now clear that the racing circuit being constructed on Nagatino Island cannot be finished in time for 2003.
We hear that the delays were caused by problems with the finances of the original organizers but we hear that new investors have been found in recent months. The project is expected to cost in the region of $150m but the Moscow authorities hope that a better image for Moscow will result in considerable new income from tourism, which has suffered in recent years because of the publicity linking Moscow to organized crime.
It now remains to be seen whether or not the Nagatino project will come together or whether other plans for races could replace the existing one. One way or another it seems that Formula 1 is going to get to Moscow in the end.
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