Sochi deal puts Russia on the grid from 2014

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The Independent Online

The city of Sochi will host a Russian Formula One Grand Prix from 2014 until 2020 under a deal announced by the Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, yesterday, though the first race could be postponed if it affects preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics, which are also due to be held in the Black Sea resort.

"We have reached an agreement with the principal owner of Formula One," Putin said. The Formula One rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, signed the seven-year deal, reportedly worth more than $200m (£125m), with the regional governor Alexander Tkachev.

Russia is the latest confirmed addition to an already expanded F1 calendar, with a record 20 races scheduled for next year, when India will make its debut. South Korea stages its inaugural race next week. A return to the United States, with a grand prix in Austin, Texas, is scheduled for 2012.