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Cregan becomes new F1 troubleshooter
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Dec 2013   |  8:16 am GMT  |  16 comments

One announcement that didn’t get much traction over the Christmas period, but which is significant nevertheless, was Richard Cregan’s move from Abu Dhabi to Russia, to oversee delivery of the new Russian GP at Sochi.

The inaugural Russian race is scheduled for October, on a repurposed track set on the site of the Winter Olympics which take place in a few weeks from now.

The event has had a long gestation, backed by Russian president Vladimir Putin, and has not been without its difficulties. It’s a young team at Sochi, full of enthusiasm, but there have been mountains to climb to get the event to this point. But it’s vitally important for both the country and the sport that the event is delivered and is a success.

There is always a significant cultural adjustment to be made on both sides when F1 engages with a new circuit, promoter and federation in a new country. The Chinese, for example, didn’t understand that they needed to pay Ecclestone to host a race, rather than the other way around. Some circuits, like Bahrain, hire in F1 expertise at the outset and are able to accommodate the requirements and idiosyncrasies of the teams, without problems. Cregan’s move to Russia – albeit quite late in the day – is designed to achieve that.

Cregan is a former senior manager of the Toyota F1 team, who left before the team was closed down (seeing the writing on the wall) and turned himself into a circuits guru. He delivered Abu Dhabi, arguably the most advanced F1 facility in the world, on time and has presided over it for the last five years.

Now he’s taking his skills to Russia, no doubt with the encouragement of Bernie Ecclestone and F1 Management who want to ensure that Sochi comes through. He will stay for the initial few years at the circuit and then, no doubt, move on to a similar project with a new venue.

In this sense, Cregan has replaced Philipe Gurdjian, who was always the man Ecclestone parachuted into a new venue if he felt it needed some help on delivery and completion.

If you missed our Christmas Special Podcast, you can listen here – it features JA on F1 readers giving their thoughts on the 2013 season and on the future direction of the sport. The eight JA on F1 competition winners who got the chance to drive Mercedes’ F1 simulator, also report on the experience. One reader got to just over 2 seconds off Mercedes’ reserve driver Sam Bird’s time around Barcelona!

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Still waiting for all the human rights activists here to start whining about this race like they do Bahrain.


Do you not think human rights are important?


Ofc but where is the outrage? Is it only important in Bahrain for our fellow posters here? But apparently not in China or Russia? A bit selective don’t you think?


F1 in Russia… Wouldn’t normally go there for entertainment, for several reasons. Those who dare, be careful, go alone (no kids) if you do. Some of the commentators clearly have no clue of what they enthuse so much about. It is just another bought race, and not BY any private investor. In any case, wait well after Olympics before booking tickets. Honest.




All the vibes from the Russian gp are sort of scary. Lets hope Putin pulls the thing off.


“All the vibes from Russia are sort of scary. Lets hope Putin puts people off.”



Seems like it would be safe enough…provided one keeps one’s mouth closed.

I’ll be staying home then 😉


Is that a deliberate misquote?


Whoosh. Look over there – a point, waaayyy up there over your head 🙂 for instance

Doesn’t seem worthwhile risking the trip tbh…


Schumi hurt skiing!

Taken to hospital. Oh my goodness, I hope he’s alright.


Some report serious head injury. Confirmed helicopter ambulance took him.


Having had an opportunity of involment with

business and in social sphere with the Russian

I have find they are incredibly loaded with

pride in particular the field of high Tech and

Scince.They have money,”Lot of It”, to top it

of Putin wants to show the World what a Macho

man he is, Sochi is an incredible undertaking

by any measure,cost will exceed $US.50 Billion

Mr Putin has his signature on it,the rest is assured it will be perhaps the best F1 event

of the last decade, its a very reason why Mr

Richard Cregan has been hired.

When money is not the object everything is



This is one of those mega cool jobs, to be “parachuted” around the world, bringing expertise that only you have, to fix high profile glamour projects and getting undoubtedly paid very handsomely at the same time. Makes me a little envious.


Nice bit of info & great reflective perspective on China James because for a while I believed it was F1 paying to hold an event in a country. When you think about it, It’s incredible the respect F1 commands in such powerful political landscapes given those countries do not field teams and in fact Motorsport is not very special to them. But as has become common place media coverage is a powerful gateway to popularity and F1 certainly thrives in that environment.

James what’s is Richard Cregans managerial background – is it operations?. Sochi is one GP I have been anxious to see as Russia doesn’t have the exposure of the west and they have a lot of potential with many wealthy people there. The winter Olympics will be a great introduction to the GP and I only hope that the organisers capitalise on its marketing opportunities in these coming weeks. Certainly hope they do a bit more than Austin did- but something tells me it’s unlikely.


Yes Richard was mainly in operations, logistics etc at Toyota. He was there for many years before F1 – did their Le Mans programme etc

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