A key figure of next year's inaugural Russian grand prix has played down suggestions the Sochi race might never take place. The latest reports suggest a dispute between the Russian automobile federation and race organisers Omega has delayed the official application to the FIA beyond its July deadline.
But Oleg Zabara, Omega's deputy general director, told Russia's Championat: "I cannot understand why there would be doubt. "In 2010, in the presence of Vladimir Putin, the agreement was signed and work (on the circuit) has gone according to the plan. Maybe all this (uncertainty) is due to the fact that not everything is running smoothly with New Jersey. No, we're fine -- everything is according to plan."
Indeed, while the rest of the 2014 calendar is still the subject of speculation, Sochi already has its provisional race date -- October 19. And more news could be in the pipeline. Zabara met with Bernie Ecclestone at the Hungaroring last weekend, and also present was Igor Mazepa, of the new Russian GP2 team Russian Time.
Mazepa admitted that Russian Time is working closely with Williams. "Now we're going to strengthen our relationship," he said. "We are already talking to Claire Williams about the possibility of a Russian driver coming, if there is a vacancy for 2014 due to one of the current drivers going to another team."
Williams' current drivers are Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado. (GMM)