This year’s Russian Grand Prix is scheduled for September 26th and will be the first race of a triple-header, including Russia, the newly-announced Turkey and Japan.
Formula One first raced in Russia in 2014 at the Sochi Autodrom, which however never succeed in winning the hearts of many in the F1 paddock or the wider fanbase. This is whyF1 management was known to be considering a move away from the Black Sea resort in the near future.
Indeed, next year’s race in Sochi, based around the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, will be the last to take place at its current venue before transferring to a recently-built circuit near St Petersburg.
The Igora Drive circuit, located on the outskirts of St Petersburg, gained an FIA Grade 1 licence – which is mandatory to host F1 – last year. Construction of the track began in 2017 and resulted in a 4.086km long circuit with 15 corners.
In a statement issued on Saturday, it was revealed that the track has struck a deal to host F1, operating under the same promoter that runs the existing race in Sochi.
“I am pleased to confirm that the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix from 2023 will be held at Igora Drive,” F1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali said.
"This was the result of intensive work with our Russian partners and a detailed study of this delightful track.
“I am impressed with St Petersburg and I am confident that the Russian Grand Prix at Igora Drive will be an amazing event.”
So far, the circuit has mainly hosted Russian national series and was due to welcome DTM, W Series and World Rallycross as its first intentional events last year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit forcing those events to be cancelled.
A move to St Petersburg, the second-largest Russian city, is likely to make the Russian Grand Prix more accessible, fitting in with F1 shareholder Liberty Media’s desire to push for more destination cities on the calendar.