Ecclestone and Putin sign Russian GP deal

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Commercial rights manager Bernie Ecclestone has agreed to a deal with Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin for a Grand Prix to take place around 2014. Russia has been on the radar for a while, but two earlier attempts at a deal both fell through.

The two signed a seven-year deal, starting from 2014 for a race at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Although the event may be postponed to 2015 if the organisation of the winter olympics of 2014 would prove too much effort.

Ecclestone said on Thursday: "I sincerely hope Formula One is going to play a big part in what I can see happening in Sochi," said Ecclestone. I'm sure the circuit can be a super circuit. It's all the things we need and wanted, and we are very happy. They are trying to build absolutely first-class facilities both for the Olympics and Formula One."

The new deal comes after India is scheduled to be added next year, and the USA GP at Austin the year after. As Ecclestone is not willing to do schedule more than 20 races a season, current events will come under threat, and Ecclestone could force them into paying more to hold their spot.