Russian Grand Prix is go says race chief

Alexander Saurin

Alexander Saurin

There is “no risk” that Russia will not stage its inaugural Grand Prix in October, according to Alexander Saurin, the administration chief of the local Krasnodar territory, and in charge of the resort city Sochi’s post-Olympics plans.

“We are on schedule. The necessary inspections have been made and there is no risk to the first grand prix of Russia,” he told the German news agency DPA.

There have been reports claiming that the Sochi race will have to be cancelled, amid the threat of war between Russia and Ukraine and escalating European and US sanctions.

“We are preparing everything to make our guests feel at ease,” said Saurin. “We do not connect these political things with Formula 1.

“It is safe to go to Sochi right now and it will be safe in October still,” he insisted. “We guarantee the safety of our visitors – this is our standard and that will continue.”

Saurin said that the economic sanctions, which have seen funds and bank accounts frozen already by the West, will not affect the region’s running of the Formula 1 event.

“We have a contract and we hold ourselves to it,” he said. “We have guarantees. And at the moment we see no financial problems for the event.

“We have 12 million viewers of Formula 1 in Russia, and 80 per cent of the tickets are reserved already — the race will be sold out,” Saurin claimed. (GMM)

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