Saturday May 12th, 2001
Formula One aim to stage a Grand Prix in Moscow by 2003, Arrows team owner Tom Walkinshaw said on Saturday. Walkinshaw, speaking at a news conference ahead of Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, said the race would be staged some time between May and September because of the vagaries of the Russian winter.
"Lots of planning has gone into it already," said Walkinshaw, who last November signed a $100-million deal with the Moscow city government to build a race track on the island of Nagatino in the Moskva river, a few kilometres south of the city centre.
"We'll have to see how work progresses through the winter -- because of the snow etc. But we should be ready in 2003."
Nagatino's location just outside downtown Moscow and on the river was reminiscent of the track at Montreal, he said.
"There's a three-lane dual carriageway on and off the island, underground station, ferry terminal -- basically superb road, rail and water access," he added.
Walkinshaw declined to speculate on which current Grand Prix venue would be relinquished to make way for Moscow to join the fold. Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has stressed that the season will continue to consist of 17 Grands Prix only.
"I have no idea who'll lose out. It's not my business," Walkinshaw said.