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Ecclestone: No concerns about taking F1 to Russia in six weeks’ time

Aug 23, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Germany Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone has once again affirmed his support for the Russian Grand Prix, which is set to take place in six weeks’ time amid concerns about tensions in the region.

Political relations with Russia have been tenuous following the crisis in the Crimea and the recent MH17 disaster, casting doubt on the viability of the planned grand prix in Sochi.

The eleven teams have stood by the FIA and the commercial rights holder, saying that if the race goes ahead they will be happy to take part.

Ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, F1 supremo Ecclestone confirmed to Reuters that he had zero concerns about the race going to plan.

“We have a contract,” he said. “Our friends there, they are happy with the contract so we’ll be there.

“If people have got arguments with Russia maybe they have [issues]. I don’t know. We haven’t got any.”

FIA race director Charlie Whiting visited the circuit earlier this week, and was full of praise for the facility that has been built around the complex that hosted the Winter Olympics earlier this year.

Although concerns about the race in Russia will linger until the race weekend itself, Formula 1 does look set to venture to the nation for the first time in 100 years.

A common misconception is that this will be the first Russian Grand Prix. It will indeed be the first that is part of the official Formula 1 world championship, but two grand prix events were held in 1913 and 1914 around the streets of St. Petersburg before the outbreak of the First World War. Therefore, the 2014 will actually be the third Russian Grand Prix.

F1 has said that it is not looking to make any kind of political statement by going to Russia, but is instead focusing on taking the sport to a new and exciting market in 2014.

The race is set to take place on October 12th this year.

  1. techmeister1 - Aug 23, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Of course there is no concern by Bernie…none of his family or friends was killed by Russian rebels shooting a commercial airliner out of the sky and killing all onboard. Holding an F1 race in Russia is an International DISGRACE after this tragedy and every civilized person should be outraged! If an F1 race comes before hundreds of innocent lives, then there are some very unscrupulous dirtbags in charge of F1.

  2. photog645 - Aug 24, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Never let it be said that that greedy little frog, Ecclestone, EVER let anything get in the way of him and a another dollar! Russia, under Putin, is beginning to revert to the “Evil Empire” proclaimed by Reagan in the 1980’s! I believe that it is ridiculous to support the Russian state in any way as long as it is headed in the direction now set by Putin! But as I said, Putting would NEVER let anything get in the way of another dollar in his pocket!

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