Russia set to host Grand Prix in 2014: report

Moscow: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has agreed terms with Russia for the country to hold its first Grand Prix in Winter Olympics host city Sochi in 2014, a report said on Saturday.

Ecclestone told the Kommersant daily that after several rounds of negotiations conditions for the contract have been agreed and they had been given the document.

"The document has still not been signed but when the appropriate person from Russia signs it, I will sign it the next day," Ecclestone told reporters.

He said that the annual fee Russia would pay for hosting a Grand Prix would be comparable with that of around 40 million dollars paid by new hosts Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

The paper said the fee could prove to be the one sticking point given that by the time the country hosts the Grand Prix in 2014, the price for hosting the event could already be much higher than 40 million dollars.

Officials in the office of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, the government`s pointman for the Sochi Winter Olympics, confirmed that he had received the final version of the contract from Ecclestone.

"There is a major compromise in the contract and it could be a practical basis for completing negotiations," an official told the reporters without giving further details.

It also remains to be seen whether Russia would build a special circuit for the Grand Prix in Sochi or use existing roads, the paper said.

The 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea city, a hugely prestigious project championed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, will be the biggest event to be held in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Bureau Report