MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS/. Organizers of the FIA Formula 2 racing series announced on Wednesday that one of the championship’s Grands Prix this year will be held in the Russian resort city of Sochi as part of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 racing weekend in Russia in late September.
The F2 race in Sochi will be 10th on this year’s calendar, which has been revised numerously due to the global spread of the novel coronavirus, and will be staged at the Sochi Autodrom racing circuit between September 25 and 27.
“This announcement is very good news,” FIA Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel was quoted as saying by the official F2 statement on Wednesday. “First of all, it means that we now have ten rounds confirmed for 2020. That’s very positive for everyone involved in the Championship.”
“Moreover, we currently have three Russian drivers on the grid, with Robert Shwartzman currently leading in the Standings. For this reason as well, it’s great to be bringing F2 to Sochi,” Michel added.
In October 2017, Shwartzman became the first Russian ever to join the Ferrari Driver Academy at the age of 18 alongside trainees Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong, Enzo Fittipaldi, Antonio Fuoco, Charles Leclerc and Guan Yu Zhou.
Russia’s 20-year-old Shwartzman is currently in the top of the overall drivers’ standings, winning two of six races in three F2 Grands Prix this season packing 81 points. His closest contender in the current championship is Britain’s Callum Ilott with 63 points.
Two more Russian drivers are currently on the grid of the 2020 F2 Championship besides Shwartzman and they are Nikita Mazepin (currently 11th with 27 points) and Artem Markelov (currently 20th with zero points).
Last September, Shwartzman finished second at his home Grand Prix in the Russian resort city of Sochi securing his overall win in the 2019 Formula 3 Championship and was promoted to race for F2 series starting in 2020. He is racing this year in FIA Formula 2 Championship for Team Prema and his team partner is German racer Mick Schumacher.
Both Shwartzman and Schumacher raced against each other in 2018 FIA F3 series with Schumacher winning the championship that year and Shwartzman taking third place in the overall standings. Mick Schumacher, the son of legendary F1’s seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, is the winner of 2018 Formula 3 series and racing in F2 series last year for Team Prema he finished 12th in the overall standings.
Sochi Autodrom track is the only racing circuit in Russia hosting a FIA Formula One Grand Prix. Located in the Olympic Park, which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the 5,848-meter long racing circuit in the Black Sea coastal area has already successfully hosted six F1 Grand Prix races.
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.
In late 2014, the Sochi Autodrom was awarded the trophy of Formula One’s best racing track of the year. The Race Promoters’ Trophy is a rotating award, engraved with the names of other top F1 tracks dating from 1975.