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Bottas in talks to help collapsed KymiRing project

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas has held preliminary talks over reviving the bankrupt KymiRing circuit that is theoretically capable of hosting Formula 1 and MotoGP races in his native Finland.

KymiRing circuit changes

KymiRing circuit changes

MotoGP

The track project was originally conceived in 2007 and by 2019 was ready to host a small MotoGP test ahead of a full motorcycle grand prix the following season as part of a five-year contract with promoter Dorna Sports.

But the first two attempts at running the event were lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, and any plans to run the race behind closed doors were hurt by incomplete construction of the paddock and access roads.

Then the Russia-Ukraine conflict put paid to its revival in time for 2022 due to a breakdown in supply chains and Finland declaring its intention to join NATO.

With the circuit unable to be homologated in time, the KymiRing's MotoGP debut was pushed to this year. But ongoing financial problems mean the developer has since been placed into administration.

However, Bottas says he has held initial discussions with the circuit chiefs to see if the project can be revived, with the venue built to FIA Grade One standard to make it potentially able to host F1 races.

Bottas said: "I would love to see a proper track in Finland, a proper international level of track. But the thing is that the track company is now bankrupt. So, it's going to be not an easy way from that.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43

Photo by: Alfa Romeo

"But I've been in talks with them to see if there's anything I can help or do something. For now, that's all it's been: just talks. But it's not easy.

"Finland, as a location with a decent winter, which means at least no driving in the winter. I'll see if there's any opportunities."

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According to the circuit website, its "biggest owners" are the Finnish Motorcycle Association, the AKK Sports marketing company, the A. Ahlstrom Real Estate investment business and the district of Litti.

The KymiRing is reported to owe €25 million, with contractual penalties also relating to the cancelled MotoGP round and the Nitro Rallycross and World Motocross series having to move locations. The circuit's social media channels have been inactive for seven months.

Finland has not hosted a world championship-level motorbike race since 1982 at Imatra street circuit.

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