By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Sebastian_Vettel_in_Abu_Dhabi_November_2010November 16 - Preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi will not be affected by plans to stage Russia's first Formula One race there in the same year, the country's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak has promised.

Russia last month signed a multi-million dollar agreement with Formula One to stage a Grand Prix near the Black Sea resort between 2014 and 2020.

But Kozak has promised that the Olympics and Paralympics have priority ahead of the motor race.

The deal was sealed at a special ceremony last month involving Russian Prime Minister Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Bernie Ecclestone, the chief executive of Formula One Management.

Russia is planning to allocate up to $200 million (£125 million) to build a circuit around the Olympic Park to stage the race, said Kozak, who is overseeing preparations for Sochi 2014.

"We must build 74 F1 objects on the territory of the Olympic Park in a fashion so that the builders [of both projects] do not bother each other," said Kozak during a visit to Abu Dhabi to watch the concluding race of this year's series which ended with Germany's Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel being crowned world champion.

The International Olympic Committee did not have any fears that the Formula One race would impact on preparations for the Olympics, Kozak claimed.

"If the F1 construction does not hinder the construction of the Olympic facilities, they [races] will take place in 2014, if there is the slightest risk for the Olympics...F1 will be given its start-up in 2015," he said.

"[But] we are completely sure we will do everything on time."

Kozak claimed that he is confident that the planned Formula One event will be a money-spinner for Sochi.

"The profitability of the F1 track is very high," he said.

"Under preliminary calculations, even if $200 million is spent, the project will pay off in five years."

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