Controversial Putin to attend inaugural Russia GP at Sochi

  • Published on 08 Oct 2014 09:41
  • comments 1
  • By: Rob Veenstra
F1 will court further controversy this weekend when Russian president Vladimir Putin oversees the inaugural grand prix at Sochi. Amid the Ukraine crisis, the MH17 atrocity and tough anti-Russian sanctions imposed by Europe and the US, there had already been calls for formula one to cancel its first race in the country.

But mere days after the Japanese grand prix, F1 is now busily setting up at the new Sochi Autodrom, based around the central venue of the Winter Olympic Games earlier this year. Having skipped Japan, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone will be at Sochi this weekend, having travelled to the former Soviet state Azerbaijan on Tuesday to unveil the sport's next destination, the 2016 European grand prix at Baku.

As for controversial Russia this weekend, he insisted: "We are happy, the sponsors appear to be happy, so we carry on. "No one has spoken to me about this race or told me that we cannot go," he told The Times. "The sanctions do not affect us and what we are doing is not illegal. The Russian people asked us to come here and that is what we are doing. We are putting on a grand prix. This is nothing to do with politics. As I have always said, we do not do politics. We are in Sochi to race," said Ecclestone.

Times correspondent Kevin Eason claims Putin, who is "a close friend" of Ecclestone's, will also be there. "F1 should reflect on the lack of global support for Putin's behaviour in the Ukraine," said Dr Andrew Foxall, director of the Russia Studies Centre at London's Henry Jackson Society think-tank. "If Putin appears to wave to the crowd, it will be on global television and F1 will forever be blighted by association with an authoritarian regime." (GMM)

Replies (1)

Login to reply
  • I agree 100% with the last comment in the main article. Anything for a buck, right Bernie?

    I am boycotting the whole damned thing - couldn't care less.

    • + 0
    • Oct 8 2014 - 14:10

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BEGrand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

World Championship standings 2024

Pos
Driver
Team
Points
Pos
Team
Points
Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

See full test schedule

Related news

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Formula 1 Calendar - 2024

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
29 - Mar 2
Bahrain
7 - Mar 9
Saudi Arabia
22 - Mar 24
Australia
5 - Apr 7
Japan
19 - Apr 21
China
3 - May 5
United States of America
17 - May 19
Italy
24 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
Spain
28 - Jun 30
Austria
5 - Jul 7
United Kingdom
19 - Jul 21
Hungary
26 - Jul 28
Belgium
23 - Aug 25
Netherlands
30 - Sep 1
Italy
13 - Sep 15
Azerbaijan
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
18 - Oct 20
United States of America
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
Brazil
22 - Nov 24
United States of America
29 - Dec 1
Qatar
6 - Dec 8
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2024

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
29 - Mar 2
7 - Mar 9
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
22 - Mar 24
Australia Albert Park
5 - Apr 7
19 - Apr 21
3 - May 5
United States of America Miami International Autodrome
17 - May 19
24 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
5 - Jul 7
United Kingdom Silverstone
19 - Jul 21
Hungary Hungaroring
26 - Jul 28
23 - Aug 25
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
30 - Sep 1
Italy Monza
13 - Sep 15
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
20 - Sep 22
18 - Oct 20
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
Brazil Interlagos
22 - Nov 24
United States of America Las Vegas Street Circuit
29 - Dec 1
6 - Dec 8
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar