Russian Grand Prix Betting

As improbable as it may seem, Russia has never been a force in international motor racing. In fact, it was not until 2010 that a Russian driver ever participated in a Formula One World Championship, when Vitaly Petrov joined Renault. And it wasn’t until the following year, at the season opener in Australia, that Petrov took his place on the podium, finishing in third behind race-winner Sebastian Vettel of Germany and runner-up Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain.

Without a national racing hero to lead the way, the superpower had not strong incentive to compete for checkered flags. But that doesn’t mean there has never been a Russian Grand Prix. Quite the contrary, Russia was one of the earliest nations to embrace road racing, conducting its first national championship on 7 June 1913, nearly a full decade before the 24 Hours of Le Mans was inaugurated.

That first Russian Grand Prix was conducted at a circuit in St. Petersburg and won by a local driver named Georgy Suvorin, who piloted a Benz across the finish line ahead of his compatriot I. Ivanov driving a Russo-Balt. Third place went to France’s Rene Nothombe in a Métallurgique. The event was so successful that a second edition was scheduled for May of 1914 on the same course, which was won by Germany’s Willy Scholl. Russia’s S. Ovsyannikov came in second driving a Vauxhall, while Italian Beria d’Argentine in an Aquila Italiana took third.

It was certainly not for a lack of interest that Russia abandoned Grand Prix racing from 1915 onward. First, the outbreak of the First World War interrupted racing and then right on its heels came the Russian Civil War. With the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922, the Russian Grand Prix was not resumed. Indeed, no major motor sports events at all took place behind the Iron Curtain thereafter.

Nevertheless, in the early 1980s the construction of a new world-class circuit was proposed for Moscow, with the track’s key race to be named the “Grand Prix of the Soviet Union.” The event was listed a provisional FIA calendar for 1983, but bureaucratic interference eventually prevented the Grand Prix from being held. The race was deleted from all subsequent schedules and no more was said of it, even after Hungary became the first communist country to host a race in 1986.

After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Russia went through a period of rebuilding and did not seriously consider racing activities until 2001, when President Vladimir Putin expressed support for the construction of a new circuit near Pulkovo Airport called the “Pulkovskoe Ring.” Although the race never came to fruition, the seed had been planted, and in 2003, the Moscow council approved the building of a track in the Molzhaninovsky area of the city’s Northern District. When that commercial project fell through, plans got under way in 2008 for a Formula One circuit in the town of Fedyukino within the Volokolamsky District of Moscow Province. Known as the Moscow Raceway, the Hermann Tilke-designed track was completed in 2012 to host Formula One and Moto GP races, but the plan to host a Grand Prix at the new raceway was never realised.

Now, in the wake of the Winter Olympic Games taking place in February 2014, plans have emerged for the Russian Grand Prix to be reincarnated in Sochi, Russia. A 5.9-kilometer circuit is supposed to be used along the Black Sea coast around the site of the 2014 Olympic Village, with a deal in place with FIA for seven years of F1 racing through 2020. The qualifying will begin on 10 October, with the race scheduled to begin two days later as the 16th leg of the 19-race F1 season.

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