F1 circuit mooted in Moscow

Updated: Jul 14, 2012, 16:40 PM IST

Moscow: The streets of Moscow would make for a thrilling Formula One circuit that would be faster than Monaco, the organisers of a publicity event said on Saturday.

The sport is coming to Russia for the first time in 2014 with a Grand Prix in the southern city of Sochi.

But officials in the capital say the roads around the Kremlin are being considered for a new venue sometime in the future.

"Moscow really is ready to hold a Formula One stage," said Vladimir Chernikov, a spokesperson for Moscow City Hall. "The specialists think it would be one of the fastest city circuits. Faster than Monaco," he said.

Moscow authorities have toyed with the idea of holding a Grand Prix for the better part of two decades, though for various reasons the project is yet to come to fruition.

"Of course, there would be certain organisational problems, such as the streets would have to be closed off for three days," Chernikov said.

"But I think that we`d solve all these problems. Moscow would definitely cope with the task of hosting one of the best races in the world."

Street circuits are popular in the sport, with venues in Valencia, Melbourne, and Montreal built around existing road networks.

Top F1 personalities including McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, Marussia`s Charles Pic and former driver Giancarlo Fisichella are in the Russian capital to take part in Moscow City Racing, an annual publicity event for the sport. Organisers praise it as the only promo event in the world where the public does not need VIP passes to access the drivers and their cars.

"If it were up to us, the dream of holding Formula One races in Moscow would become a reality," said Derk Sauer, the event`s general director.

"The drivers say that a track around the Kremlin would be ideal for a real race," Sauer said.

He added that renowned German track designer Hermann Tilke had given assurances he would assist in helping turn the current, temporary show track around the Kremlin into a viable Grand Prix venue.

"At the moment this is a political question, everything depends on the Russian government," Sauer said. "Now there is a contract for holding a Formula One in Sochi. But if the Moscow question arises again, we are ready."

IANS/RIA Novosti