Russian Grand Prix could become F1's next night race from 2017

The organisers of the Russian Grand Prix are looking into the prospect of turning the event into Formula 1's next night race, as predicted by AUTOSPORT

Alexander Saurin, vice-governor of the Krasnodar region where the Sochi circuit is located, along with Russian GP chief executive Sergey Vorobyev have spoken with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone this weekend at Spa ahead of the Belgian GP about the possibility, along with an extension to the contract.

The track, which made its debut last year, winds its way through the Olympic park used for the 2014 winter Games, has a deal with Ecclestone through to 2020.

But it appears as if that will now run through to 2025, with a change to a night race as early as '17 if all goes to plan.

Speaking to reporters at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Ecclestone said: "We've talked about it [a night race]. Maybe in 2017."

With reference to the possibility of the contract extension, Ecclestone added: "So you know, you can book your tickets for the next 10 years."

Saurin, using Vorobyev as an interpreter, said: "Bearing in mind the significantly growing popularity of Formula 1 in Russia, we are considering an extension of the contract.

"We are also assessing the idea [of a night race] from a commercial perspective and calculating the cost of that.

"But we are working towards having a night race some time in the future. Not earlier than 2017."

F1 already possesses two night races on the current calendar, in Singapore and Bahrain, with Abu Dhabi a twilight event.

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