Sebastian Vettel said he was impressed with what he saw after visiting the venue of the future Russian Grand Prix on Monday.
The Formula 1 World Champion, along with Red Bull ambassador David Coulthard, visited the pit building and drove an Infiniti road car through some of the existing corners of the 3.6-mile Sochi Olympic Park Circuit in Sochi, despite heavy rain hitting the circuit.
"It's my first time in Russia and I'm already looking forward to coming back next year," said Vettel. "The facilities here look incredible. I didn't see much of the circuit, but the drawing looks interesting. Some corners look very quick, especially the 180-degree one. It could be quite challenging for the drivers.
"Now you need some imagination to see how the circuit will look after construction work will be finished. But this place is incredible – with the city, the sea and mountains around it."
Local authorities insisted the circuit will be ready by the end of July next year. Krasnodar Kray's vice-governor Nikolay Buturlakin said the track is expected to attract no less than 100,000 visitors for the debut Russian Grand Prix in 2014.
"Our target is to bring pleasure and positive emotions for all spectators as well as use our tourist infrastructure during the low-season in the middle of autumn," he said. Russia has a contract to host a Formula 1 grand prix for seven years.