Russian Grand Prix Organizers Say Ukraine Crisis Will Not Halt Race
Organizers of the Russian F1 Grand Prix have insisted that "their race will go ahead despite the threat of sanctions being imposed on the country in the wake of the Ukraine crisis," according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. Fears are growing that the inaugural race in Sochi "will be abandoned as Russia becomes embroiled in the turmoil in Crimea and eastern Ukraine." Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee Chair Richard Ottoway said a grand prix held against a background of war in the Ukraine would be "wildly unrealistic." However, organizers in Sochi said that "preparations are on target and will be ready for the scheduled October 12 date." Team buildings and the medical center "are already operational and the main grandstand is almost completed." A statement said that ticketing details "will be published on May 20." The confidence of the organizers "is in stark contrast to the fears of diplomats." The Russian round of the world championship also comes immediately before the grand prix in the U.S. "and it is understood American officials are concerned at the juxtaposition at a tense time when they are pushing for sanctions" (LONDON TIMES, 5/7).