Oct.10 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Russia appears determined to establish a long-term future on the F1 calendar.

The race at Sochi, a resort city on the Black Sea coast, was initially controversial amid the Vladimir Putin regime, where the circuit was built on the site of the 2014 winter olympics.

But talks are now taking place between authorities and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone as Russia seeks to extend its current deal beyond 2020.

“We will do everything possible to keep formula one here,” said Alexander Saurin, vice governor of the Krasnodar region, according to the broadcaster RTL.

It is said that race officials are keen even to modify the circuit so that the grand prix can be held under floodlights, despite the tough economic times.

“We do our best to make the business model efficient,” Saurin insisted.

Race organiser Sergei Vorobyov, meanwhile, said the addition to the calendar next year of Azerbaijan, a former Soviet country, is welcomed by Russia.

“Baku will help to make the sport more popular in this region,” he said, “and of course, both races will benefit from that.”