user icon

Vatanen says Todt concerned about Russian grand prix

  • Published on 04 Sep 2014 12:02
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Jean Todt is concerned about the viability of next month's inaugural grand prix. That is the claim of Ari Vatanen, an FIA official who once stood against Todt for the presidency of F1's governing body but is now one of his closest allies. Russia and its controversial president Vladimir Putin, who Bernie Ecclestone describes as a "super guy", are in the global headlines at present over the escalating aggression against Ukraine.

The Financial Times this week claimed Europe is considering recommending new sanctions against Russia to include the boycott of key sport events, like the inaugural grand prix at Sochi scheduled for mid October. Daniel Johnson, the F1 correspondent for the Telegraph newspaper, believes Finn Vatanen is "testing the waters" with his comments on behalf of a more reserved Todt.

"Of course Jean knows about my comments, we spoke about it," Vatanen said. "We are friends. I think he partly shares my view. It is true that his hands are tied. I can say things much more openly and freely than he can."

F1 chief executive Ecclestone, who personally agreed the race deal with Putin, consistently refers to his binding contract with Sochi organisers and the fact that sport and politics should not be mixed. Vatanen said: "It is often said that formula one should not mix politics and sport, but the Russian regime is already mixing politics and sport in a blatant way, so we have to respond. It is for Bernie and the owners to cancel the race."

As the current situation worsens, Putin has in the past days even threatened nuclear war as the West exerts increasing pressure. "It is an unprecedented situation since the second world war," said Vatanen, a former rally world champion and European parliamentarian, "and we have to ask ourselves how history will remember us and what we did or did not do."

"Do we support the regime who is masterminding this bloodshed? Or do we say this is not correct? It would send a message of acceptance if we went to Russia. It would say we condone, effectively, maybe not explicitly, but by our actions we condone what is going on because it is used in propaganda," Vatanen concluded. (GMM)

Replies (0)

Login to reply

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2021

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28 2021
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18 2021
Italy
30 - May 2 2021
Portugal
7 - May 9 2021
Spain
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20 2021
France
25 - Jun 27 2021
Austria
2 - Jul 4 2021
Austria
16 - Jul 18 2021
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1 2021
Hungary
27 - Aug 29 2021
Belgium
3 - Sep 5 2021
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12 2021
Italy
24 - Sep 26 2021
Russian
8 - Oct 10 2021
Japan
8 - Oct 10 2021
Turkey
22 - Oct 24 2021
United States of America
5 - Nov 7 2021
Mexico
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil
19 - Nov 21 2021
Qatar
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates
-
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28 2021
16 - Apr 18 2021
30 - May 2 2021
7 - May 9 2021
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20 2021
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18 2021
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1 2021
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29 2021
3 - Sep 5 2021
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12 2021
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26 2021
Russian Sochi Autodrom
8 - Oct 10 2021
8 - Oct 10 2021
Turkey Istanbul Park
22 - Oct 24 2021
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
5 - Nov 7 2021
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21 2021
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
-
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar