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FEBRUARY 7, 2007

St Petersburg bids for a Grand Prix (again)

Russia's Sports Minister Viatcheslav Fetisov, once a celebrated ice hockey player with two Olympic gold medals to his name, has been heavily involved with plans to stage a Grand Prix in the city of St Petersburg.

Fetisov, who went on to two Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, has confirmed to Agence France Presse that the city has put a proposal for a race to Bernie Ecclestone and is waiting to hear the outcome. The city is believed to be one of the five bidders that Ecclestone referred to recently in Abh Dhabi.

What is not clear is where the city plans to hold the race. In 2001 there was talk of a big new circuit called the Pulkovo Ring, close to the city's airport, which was to have been built by businessman Alexander Berezhnoy. Construction plans for a racing circuit were approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin in May 2001 but the money could not be found for the project and it faded away.