Friends united – Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone is a firm supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin over his controversial attitude on gay rights.
An eventful year – The Sochi International Street Circuit is set to play host to the Russian Grand Prix in October 2014. Russia signed a seven-year deal with Ecclestone in 2010, with the project to build the circuit costing $200 million -- a fraction of the reported $50 billion spent on the Winter Games.
Seasoned pro – Russian president Vladimir Putin is no stranger to a F1 car, having reached speeds of up to 150mph while test-driving a Renault vehicle in St. Petersburg in 2010. Ecclestone spoke of his "great admiration" for Putin in an interview with CNN.
Firsts – The Sochi International Street Circuit is Russia's first purpose-built 1e facility, while October's showpiece event will be the country's inaugural Grand Prix.
Build it and they will come – The Sochi circuit will be a 55,000-capacity venue, with its main grandstand holding up to 10,000 spectators. Ecclestone believes Russia has done a "first-class job" on the new circuit.
In safe hands – Renowned circuit architect Hermann Tilke supervised the design for the track, which runs in a clockwise direction. Tilke has previously designed the likes of the Yas Marina and Shanghai International circuits.
Legacy lives on – The Olympic Park will be the centrepiece of the circuit, with the track circling a number of venues used for the 2014 Winter Olympics. The racing track surface will not be laid until after the Games have finished.
'A fantastic facility' – "The circuit is going to be very fast and technical and offers a number of interesting features," Tilke told F1's official website. "It is a fantastic facility with a great atmosphere and it will be outstanding as the circuit will run through the Olympic Park."
Speed demon – F1 cars are expected to reach up to a maximum speed of 320km/h on the Sochi circuit, which consists of 12 right and six left-hand corners.
Vettel & Co. – Stars including four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Russia's own Daniil Kvyat have already visited the Sochi track.
On track – The 5.853km track will be the third longest on the F1 calendar, behind Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and Silverstone in Britain.
A century on – The Sochi International Street Circuit will host the 16th race of the Formula One season 100 years after the last Russian Grand Prix took place.