Billionaire keen to establish Russian F1 team

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Russian billionaire Boris Rotenberg has admitted he would like to establish a Russian Formula 1 team.

In February, as former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov signed for the Le Mans LMP2 team SMP Racing, he admitted: “Although nothing is defined yet, we will perhaps one day be in F1.”

SMP Racing is the motor sport arm of SMP Bank, headed by Rotenberg.

He has already entered F1 in the past days by signing up as a sponsor of Renault’s new works team, with Sergey Sirotkin getting a run in Kevin Magnussen’s yellow car on Friday at Sochi.

Rotenberg said on Wednesday: “Of course we want to have a team in formula one. We are doing everything for it, but not everything depends on us. So far, we are learning.”

Another SMP Racing project at the moment is a Formula 4 series in Russia.

“The SMP Racing project is our training ground,” Rotenberg explained. “We are slowly, step by step, preparing for F1.”

There is a famous quip that does the rounds in F1: how do you become a millionaire in F1? Arrive on the scene as a billionaire…