Vettel first to sample the Russian GP circuit

Sebastian Vettel has become the first driver to sample the new circuit currently under construction in Russia.

The 5.8km circuit, which circles the Winter Olympic Park in Sochi, will debut on the 2014 calendar and will be the third longest after Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone.

Vettel, who flew directly from Bahrain to Russia on Sunday evening, was joined by David Coulthard and the pair took a host of Infiniti cars around the layout.

"It is a great privilege to be the first Formula One driver to visit the new Sochi venue," said the German. "After trying a section of the track in the FX Vettel Edition, I can already see it will be a fun circuit to drive in a Formula One car and the rest of the venue is very impressive.

"I'm really looking forward to coming back here for the Grand Prix next year."

Oleg Zabara, deputy general director of the organising company Omega, took the chance to reassure the F1 world that the track is on schedule for its race debut.

"The racing circuit in Sochi is part of the post-Olympic heritage program, designed to utilize the infrastructure built for the Winter Olympic Games.

"Construction of the track and the main facilities is on schedule, and in 2014 the world will see the new world- class circuit. Hosting a Formula One Grand Prix is a key project for this country, highlighting the status and the image of modern Russia."