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Teenager Sergey Sirotkin helps Sochi gear up for its Formula One debut


Teenager Sergey Sirotkin helps Sochi gear up for its Formula One debut

Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi is revving up to make its Formula 1 debut next year.

A special demonstration day to show off the track featured teenage Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin doing a test.

The 18-year-old drove a Sauber car along a 700-metre strip of the street circuit that is due to host Russia’s first grand prix in October next year.

“These were my first metres in a Formula One car, which obviously is something very special, even though it was only a short part of the Sochi track,” said Sirotkin. “Nevertheless I was able to gain a first impression, and this was awesome.”

Financially-troubled Sauber have agreed to prepare the youngster for a race seat next year as part of a deal with new Russian partners.

The demonstration day also saw Russia’s first Formula One driver Vitaly Petrov defend the track over concerns it was too narrow.

He said: “There are (Formula One) regulations and you cannot build a track narrower than it should be. So the track will be built as needed, 14 metres wide, and this will be more than enough.”

The demonstration day capped a good week for Sochi, which saw officials say it was ready to host the Winter Olympics next February.

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