The Russian Grand Prix heads to St. Petersburg in 2023

The Igora Drive Circuit, located north of the city of Peter the Great, will replace the Sochi Autodrome in two years. 

Published on 26/06/2021 à 10:48

Julien BILLIOTTE

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The Russian Grand Prix heads to St. Petersburg in 2023

F1 has been happening in Sochi since the first Russian Grand Prix held in 2014 / © DPPI

Do svidaniya Sochi, Privyet Saint Petersburg (or rather its large suburbs)! From the 2023 season, the F1 will in fact leave the shores of the Black Sea to perform at Igora Drive, a complex dedicated to motorsport inaugurated in 2019 and located around fifty kilometers from the city of the tsars.

The FOM confirmed the news this Saturday, after the circuit sent a first press release earlier in the morning in which Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the F1 Group, welcomed the arrival of Igora Drive on the calendar. The Italian was present on site a few days ago.

Designed by the essential Hermann Tilke, already responsible for almost all modern F1 circuits, the place, built in the Leningrad region, houses 10 tracks to host all kinds of motorsport competitions, including a circuit with the Grade 1 of the FIA, essential key to receiving F1.

4,086 kilometers long and 12 meters wide, the track has a height difference of 70 meters and has 15 turns. The F1 cars will run counterclockwise there. 

Igora Drive should have hosted the DTM, the W Series, and the World Rallycross in 2020 before the pandemic context led to the cascade of cancellations that we know about. 

Few fans will regret the removal of Sochi from the calendar in two years. Despite the sometimes zany charm of the seaside resort that surrounds it, the track built in the heart of the Olympic complex which hosted the Winter Games in 2014, has always suffered from a lack of character and flavor. It's up to Igora Drive to prove that the Russian Grand Prix can win the hearts of lovers of the discipline.

Julien BILLIOTTE

AUTOhebdo deputy editor-in-chief. The feather dipped in gall.

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