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

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

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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.