One week ahead of the FIA Formula One World Championship’s Russia Grand Prix 2020, tickets for the upcoming race in Sochi have already sold out, Russian digital sports publication Championat has reported, citing the Sochi Autodrom.
Sochi, a coastal resort city in southwestern Russia, will host the tenth race of the 2020 season from September 24-27 at the 5.848-kilometer (3.633-mile) Sochi Autodrom. Located in the Olympic Park, which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Sochi Autodrom is the first and only circuit hosting the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix. This year, the racing circuit in the Black Sea coastal area will host the Grand Prix of the World Championship for the seventh time in its history.
This year's Formula 1 Grand Prix car racing competitions, originally scheduled for March, were later postponed until July due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 F1 racing calendar will feature seventeen races at venues around the globe, five fewer than the number scheduled before the global pandemic, which led to the cancellation or postponement of some competitions. The 17-race season, which marks the 70th anniversary of the first Formula One competition, kicked off in July with the Austrian Grand Prix and will end in December with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
With local and national authorities as well as the International Automobile Federation (FIA), Formula One’s governing body, having diligently worked to react to global changes due to the coronavirus pandemic and put in place regulations designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, organizers of the Russian Grand Prix 2020 in Sochi are hoping that 30,000 Formula 1 fans will be able to attend the event in person. Seven security checkpoints will be built into the security perimeter for the Formula 1 spectators and participants. During the Grand Prix, healthcare professionals will work at each of these points.
The contract to include Russia in the calendar of F1 racing for the 2014-2020 period was signed in 2010 in Sochi by then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and former Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone. In early 2017, the contract to hold F1 racing in Russia’s Sochi was extended until 2025.
Russia will host the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sochi despite a decision from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ban the country from all major sporting events. The four-year ban prohibits Russia from participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics next year, the Qatar 2022 football World Cup, and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. However, the sanctions on Russia will not affect Russia's Formula One Grand Prix in Sochi since the contract for holding the Russian round of the Formula One World Championship was signed in 2010, long before the events investigated by WADA.
Azerbaijan was another Caspian country slated to host a Formula 1 race this year, however, the plans were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, the 2020 Formula One will bring back Turkey to its calendar for the first time since 2011 this year. Turkey's Intercity Istanbul Park, a popular new circuit when it joined the calendar in 2005, will host a Grand Prix on November 15.
The return of Turkey's Intercity Istanbul Park means there are now five circuits on the reshuffled calendar that were not originally planned for this year. The first of those is the stunning Mugello Circuit in Italy, which hosted Ferrari's 1000th race on September 13, a week after Italy's usual Monza Grand Prix. Germany's Nurburging returns after a seven-year absence, before F1 heads to Portugal for the first time in 24 years and a Grand Prix debut for the Algarve International Circuit on the outskirts of Portimao in southern Portugal. That's followed in a back-to-back with a third Italian circuit - Imola - with the race adopting what stands as a unique two-day format.