Stray dogs a problem for Sochi F1

Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:59am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Stray dogs roaming the streets of Sochi are just one of the problems facing Russian Formula One Grand Prix organizers as they prepare for a debut race in October.

The slow hand of Russian bureaucracy and the risk of post-Olympic complacency are also on the list of challenges to be overcome.

However, Richard Cregan, who has been brought in to troubleshoot after managing Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina circuit, is confident the newest event on the F1 calendar will meet deadlines and be a success on October 12.

"There are certainly challenges ahead, no question about that," the former Toyota team manager told Reuters as the Black Sea resort basks in the limelight of the Winter Olympics.

"The target to complete the facility is the first week in August and I think that's doable.

"There's enough of the venue ready at the moment to ensure the delivery of the race. It will be tight, it will be challenging but we will make it and we will deliver."

The Games, and Paralympics, are currently the main focus and the F1 pit and paddock complex, along with the main grandstand, are a fenced-off building site on the edge of the Olympic Park.

The straight has yet to be asphalted, the VIP boxes are windowless, and building debris lies strewn around with skips and diggers where the start/finish line will be.   Continued...

The main tribune and track at the Sochi International Street Circuit under construction for the 2014 Russian Grand Prix are seen in Sochi during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard