Championship leader Sebastian Vettel says the Sochi Olympic Park Circuit, which will host the inaugural Russian Grand Prix next year, is very impressive.
Along with former F1 driver David Coulthard, Red Bull’s Vettel drove part of the track, which is still under construction, in an Infiniti road car a day after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The German three-time world champion then toured the venue in Sochi, a southern Russia Black Sea resort near the Caucasus Mountains, with officials from the Russian government.
Russia’s first grand prix is scheduled to join the F1 calendar next year at some point after Sochi hosts the Winter Olympics in the same venue next February.
The 3.7-mile circuit, which will be the third longest track in F1 behind Spa and Silverstone, has been integrated into the Olympic Park with the cars set to drive around many of the facilities from the games, such as broadcast and media centres.
Vettel said: “It is a great privilege to be the first Formula 1 driver to visit the new Sochi venue.
“After trying a section of the track in the FX Vettel Edition, I can already see it will be a fun circuit to drive in a Formula 1 car and the rest of the venue is very impressive. I’m really looking forward to coming back here for the Grand Prix next year.”
This is the second time that Vettel has sampled a new grand prix venue for the first time after he drove a lap of the planned New Jersey circuit in the United States.