Russia is already set to join the Formula 1 calendar in 2014 at another new circuit in the country's southern resort city of Sochi. However, F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting said after visiting the new Moscow Raceway – which opens this weekend with two rounds of the World Series by Renault for Formula Renault 3.5 cars and will host the FIA GT1 World Championship later this year – that the Moscow circuit is an “excellent” track fully suitable for F1.
The 2.53-mile Moscow Raceway was designed by Hermann Tilke – architect of most modern F1 circuits, including the new USGP venue in Austin, Texas that is set to host its first F1 race on Nov. 18. Whiting told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that it is “purely a business decision” that no grand prix is scheduled for Moscow's track.
“It's been built to the highest standards – the attention to detail is second to none and I think the circuit itself is Formula 1 standard,” he said. “Mr. [Bernie] Ecclestone has reached the agreement with the people in Sochi, one assumes, so that's where we'll be racing. But this circuit is suitable for Formula 1 cars to race on.”
Before it could host F1, though, Moscow Raceway would need to be reclassified by the FIA, because it is currently classed 1T – the international motorsports governing body's second-highest rating. Circuits ranked 1T, such as the Jerez and Circuit Ricardo Tormo tracks, in Spain, are considered suitable only for F1 testing.
Organizers say Moscow Raceway will eventually have a capacity of 100,000, although large parts of the spectator facilities are still under construction. Indeed, building work around the circuit continued during Friday's opening practice sessions for FR3.5, which were briefly interrupted power outage.