Team bosses welcome Russian Grand Prix

Formula 1 team bosses Niki Lauda and Eddie Jordan have welcomed the news that Moscow will be the next new circuit on the calendar

Team bosses welcome Russian Grand Prix

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone made the announcement on Friday in the Russian capital, detailing plans for the £70 million venture which will be built on the city's Nagatino Island. The event has been provisionally pencilled in for 2003 and Ecclestone also revealed the race in Eastern Europe will replace one of the 17 races already on the calendar rather than stretch the season to 18 world championship rounds - something that has been strongly opposed by several team chiefs.

Jaguar's Lauda said: "I think it is a good idea because wherever you go you get different interest from different countries and different people. It is worldwide publicity, which is always a good move.

"If everything is done well, with the circuit built in the proper way and if the organisers pay the money that a F1 Grand Prix costs, then why not."

Jordan, ever the entrepreneurial businessman, also heralded the news as a positive move for Formula 1 for both financial and racing value reasons.

"We have huge support in that country for our particular sport," he said. "It is right and fitting that we should certainly look at it. We wouldn't be going there if it didn't make a lot of sense. Russia is an emerging market that is for sure.

"What is very important about our business is that we must have enough flexibility. We must be diverse and be able to channel all the different aspects with added income and value to create worldwide network for our sponsors and our sport.

"What is also attracting sponsors to Formula 1 at the moment is having a unified global marketing programme where there are opportunities for companies to get more exposure. Formula 1 is aware of this and while we have enough planning in place, I think we will see Formula 1 looking at other opportunities in areas we haven't been in before."

And Jordan believes it is likely one of the races for the drop will be a European event.

"Whatever the situation is, I think perhaps there will be a rota initially and then one of the races where there are two in one country will probably lose it to Moscow," he said.

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