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New Moscow to Get Formula One Racetrack

An auto race track able to accommodate the Formula One World Championship will be built in the expanded Moscow area by 2016, said Vladimir Zhidkin, head of the city's department for developing new territories.

The construction of the complex called Aeropolis, which will cover 80 hectares, will start next year. Aside from the racetrack, the complex will have exhibit centers and shopping and office infrastructure.

Vnukovo Airport is an investor in the project, which will be located close to the airport.

"It will be possible to hold the Formula One on this track," Zhidkin told reporters last week. "At other times, it could be used by auto lovers and for auto racing competitions."

Zhidkin added that there were no guarantees that the prestigious championship would be held there.

The Moscow area has another racetrack, Moscow Raceway, near Volokolamskoye Shosse, which can technically host the championship. It opened last July with a round of the World Series by Renault — the first international auto racing event held in Russia — and will host the German Touring Car Masters in August.

Moscow Raceway's owner, Rustem Teregulov, told Forbes last year that his project had a payback period of 30 to 50 years.

Despite the slow return on investment, motor sport-related construction is gaining momentum in Russia.

The federal government is investing an estimated $200 million to build a 5.9-kilometer International Street Circuit in Sochi, which will host a round of the Formula One competition in November 2014.

There were also earlier proposals to build a Formula One track near Nagatinskaya Poima in the south of Moscow and a site near Sheremetyevo Airport was also under consideration.

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