Vroom with a Kremlin view

Petrolheads get a rare chance to see the beasts of Formula One up close in Moscow this weekend.

While Russia lacks a presence on the F1 circuit, the Bavaria Moscow City Racing event transforms the streets around the Kremlin into a Muscovite Monte-Carlo, with three top teams - McLaren, Williams and Red Bull - sending cars and drivers to race around a 4.5 km route lapping the Kremlin walls.

And with experienced F1 drivers David Coulthard, Heikki Kovalainen and Kazuki Nakajima taking the controls, there's every prospect of some top race action.

Coulthard, who amassed 535 points from his 247 races in his pro career, appeared in Moscow last year and is looking forward to coming back.

"I'm delighted to be bringing a Formula One car here, especially since in Russia there is no F1 race at the moment," he said. "It's a great chance to show the audience what these cars can do. I'm looking forward to making a lot of noise and putting on a big show."

Russia, of course, has a proud autosport tradition of its own, and that will be represented at this festival of speed as well.

 © RIA Novosti

The "KAMAZ-master" rally team, which has enjoyed eight Paris-Dakar rally triumphs, is sending top drivers Vladimir Chagin, Sergei Savostin and Eduard Nikolayev.

Shagin added: "Rally and Formula One may have little in common but we share the most important thing - a love of motoring.

"A show on this scale is a big celebration for all the drivers and show off our skills to a Russian audience. We'll do everything possible to entertain the crowds."

The F1 racing runs from 2 pm to 5 pm, with the cars on a route along Kremlinskaya and Moskvoretskaya embankments, Ulitsa Mokhovaya and Manezhnaya Ploshchad.

Spectators can gather around the course free of charge, though tickets for the grandstands at the finish line need to be pre-ordered.