Russian motorsport is not going to sever relations with Formula 1’s governing body.
That is the news from Russian billionaire Boris Rotenberg, a former judo partner of Russian president Vladimir Putin and co-owner of SMP Bank.
Rotenberg also headed SMP Racing – the motorsport subsidiary that has even funded Russian drivers all the way to Formula 1.
SMP, however, is now sanctioned by western countries regarding the Ukraine conflict, whilst the FIA has axed the Russian GP and demanded that any Russian drivers denounce their country in order to keep racing.
But Rotenberg has now told Tass news agency that Russia will not retaliate by severing relations with the FIA.
“We are currently creating conditions for (motorsport) training. We have brought Formula 4 here so that kids from karting can transition and continue to progress,” he said.
“We will continue to focus on Asian countries and hold events there because the FIA is doing the same thing. So we won’t withdraw – we’re waiting to see how the situation unfolds,” Rotenberg added.
He also said Russia being locked out of many international racing markets has simply strengthened the competition within the country’s own borders.
“All the drivers who used to race in Europe and around the world are now racing in our championship,” said Rotenberg. “There were 119 cars and 119 drivers at the seventh stage of the Russian Circuit Racing Championship, and in 2014 there were only 35. So there’s been growth.”