Formula 1′s governing body, the FIA, believe there is no reason why the inaugural Russian Grand Prix should be cancelled.
As tensions between Moscow and neighbouring Ukraine continue to grow, last week some calls came for the sport to boycott the race, set for October, at the country’s Olympic Park in Sochi.
Indeed some are drawing comparisons between the ongoing unrest in Eastern Ukraine to that seen in Bahrain several years ago when the race there had to be called off.
Also last week FIM cancelled a World Superbike race set for Moscow Raceway in September while eyes will be on DTM as to whether the German Touring Car championship calls off it’s race at the same venue.
Despite the tensions just across the Black Sea, FIA President Jean Todt insists the Sochi race will go ahead.
“At the moment there is no change in the calendar. Russia is on,” he told Autosport.
Asked if the decision by FIM had affected his stance on the issue, the Frenchman added: “I am comfortable with what the FIM is doing, sure, but at the moment we don’t have any reason to reconsider any race we have on the calendar.
“We speak to people who are involved with all that, but at the moment we have nothing that should change the running of the calendar.”
As the political crisis continues, sanctions have been placed on those close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and it is believed some of these restrictions could have a direct impact on the organisation of the Sochi race.
In the FIM statement last week outlining it’s decision to cancel the Moscow round it read: “The current political situation affects the capabilities of a number of key partner companies essential to run the event.”
Also to be taken into consideration will likely be the positions of the various teams and sponsors associated with Formula 1 and whether they would feel it morally correct to race in Russia in the face of the ongoing tensions.
Force India’s deputy team boss Bob Fernley says that from a teams perspective they will follow the FIA’s decision, much as they did in Bahrain in 2011, as to whether it is safe to race in Sochi.
“I think there were certain criticisms that came to the teams and the organisation going to Bahrain but we were clearly in line and in accordance with British government guidelines.
“I think unless the British government advise otherwise and then from that obviously the FIA and FOM, then we are obliged to go, we are contracted to go.”
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