Bernie Ecclestone says he has no concerns about the Russian GP in the light of the MH17 tragedy.
While Ecclestone and the FIA have always insisted that motor sport is not affected by politics, it seems inevitable that in the coming weeks the international spotlight will fall upon the Sochi race and any other high-profile events scheduled to take place in Russia.
The Grand Prix is a potentially a particularly sensitive case, as it is closely associated with Vladmir Putin. It’s easy to speculate that some F1 sponsors – such as Malaysia’s Petronas – might have concerns about being seen to support the race, but Ecclestone does not anticipate any issues.
“I don’t see any problems with that,” he said. “Were they [Russia] in the World Cup or not? You would have thought people would have tried to stop it, wouldn’t you? Like I’ve said, we don’t get involved in politics. We have a contract with them, which we know they will respect. And we will do the same.”
Asked if Putin’s close involvement with Sochi would draw attention he said: “Not as far as I’m concerned, personally. We shouldn’t speculate as to what could happen. We will honor our contract. Mr Putin personally has been very supportive and very helpful, and we will do the same.”Bernie Ecclestone, Formula 1, Russian GP