Vitaly Petrov, Russia’s first Formula 1 driver, will next week take a Caterham F1 car around his country’s newest race circuit on the outskirts of Moscow.
The ‘Moscow Raceway’ is located 50 miles outside of the capital city in Volokolamsk and will stage its first international racing event on the weekend of July 14-15 when the World Series by Renault comes to town. Petrov will also be making an appearance and will complete some demonstration laps in a Caterham around the new Hermann Tilke-designed circuit, with spectators to also get the chance to join the local star for fast laps of the track in a Renault Megane RS.
Petrov, who told JA on F1 in an interview earlier this year that F1’s popularity in Russia was “getting bigger and bigger” amid his continued involvement in the sport, says of next week’s event: “I get a lot of positive emotions every time I visit Russia, and much more so at events where there are fans. I think this is really important as not many of them can visit a grand prix and television pictures do not provide the complete atmosphere of Formula 1.
“I hope to give a lot of positive emotions to spectators during the upcoming demo runs in the Moscow region and I invite all motorsport fans to visit the World Series by Renault meeting – there will be a lot of fun!”
F1 is set to finally get a foothold in the world’s largest country by area in 2014 with a track to be constructed in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, which is staging the Winter Olympics in February of the same year. Interestingly, during his track inspection of the Moscow Racing earlier this week in which he gave the venue the FIA’s second-highest rating, making it suitable for F1 tests, FIA safety delegate Charlie Whiting said the new facility would be fit for purpose for the top level of motorsport.
“It’s been built to the highest standards, the attention to detail is second to none and I think the circuit itself is Formula 1 standard,” Whiting told Russian news agency RIA Novosti. “Mr Ecclestone has reached the agreement with the people in Sochi, one assumes, so that’s where we’ll be racing. But this circuit is suitable for Formula 1 cars to race on.”
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