Charlie Whiting visited Sochi to inspect the circuit for Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix at the Olympic Park.
He toured the racing track with the officials from RAF (FIA ASN in Russia), representatives of OJSC “Center “Omega” in charge of construction of the circuit and “Formula Sochi” team responsible for organization of Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, headed by Oleg Zabara.
Mr Whiting offered his thoughts of the venue and the upcoming Russian Grand Prix in the interview:
1. How did you enjoy Sochi? What are your impressions?
I’m very impressed with the layout of the track. The size of the project is very impressive.
2. How different will be in your opinion Formula 1 from what people of Russia see now on TV or where visit the races and when they’ll visit Sochi in 2014? The sound will be different and what else?
It’s a sound that everybody will be used to. I’m sure, it will be different. It’ll be very nice. Cars will be very complex, more complex that they are right now. It will be a big technical challenge. I think it will bring a whole new interest to Formula 1 because of the cutting edge technologies. The new engine is necessary for Formula 1 in order to make it more efficiently. It will use less fuel and the cars with the more energy will be efficient. It’s a far more motor engine and I think it’s essential for Formula 1 to go this way.
3. FIA has decided to take steps to increase F1 safety. What’s your personal opinion on the problem of Formula 1 safety?
That is a specific problem. I’m always interested in making sure Formula 1 is as safety as possible. It’s my job. I’m the Formula 1 safety delegate and have to be sure that everything in Formula 1 is safe. The safety can be. That’s why I’m here now. It’s the beginning of a long process to make sure the track is safe.
4. How do you see Formula 1 in ten years? How do you see the future of Sochi circuit?
The future of Formula 1 is very bright. I think it will be more manufacturers becoming involved. I believe that new engine will present technological challenges for manufacturers and Formula 1 will be healthier in that respect.
As far as the future of Formula 1 in Russia was concerned, I have a feeling that it can be very popular because it’s never been in Russia before and I think it will be a great excitement. Formula 1 circuit will be very impressive. I’m sure people want to come back for more.