With Russia flexing their muscles in the Ukraine and the possible economic sanctions and asset freezes to take place, I was wondering if there was any information on how this will affect F1, specifically in regards to Sauber and other investments as well as the Russian gp taking place.
I would guess not at all. The Russian GP isn’t until October by which time I imagine the international aspect of this will have receded. Obviously it’s an ongoing situation right now, but as long as Putin doesn’t push his luck any further I cant see any issues.
I suppose it could turn out like Bahrain: many people say the race should not take place, some do not comment, and Bernie plays down the whole debacle. And in the end the race goes on as normal, and a week afterwards no one remembers that there even was a political conflict.
I would be interested to know what people who were very vocal about Bahrain think about the Russian GP.
They’ll probably be the same as they are in respect of Bahrain @maciek: quiet until a week before the race, massively vocal during the week of the race and then quiet again after it.
I’ve been waiting to see this post for a while, I was rather hoping that Bernie or someone in Russia would be asked and the question eventually make it’s way to the daily round-ups. So far the journalists haven’t been so intrusive in their questions.
I imagine the race will go ahead, provided the situation stays as it currently is. If the situation worsens (strikes on Russia etc.) then we could see the race being called off. A postponement isn’t likely when it’s towards the end of the season, and putting it after Abu Dhabi has plenty of implications for the double points rule.
If it is cancelled, I think it’ll be a shame, it looks like a good track and I’m interested in how any of the races go this year with the new rules..
It’s not going to impact on F1 unless there was literally a battle outside of the track but that isn’t going to happen. F1’s shown time and again it only cares about world events when it has a bad impact on the sport and this won’t make any difference at all. If there is any reaction it’ll be from the mainstream media looking to get a few more views by saying “look what’s happening in Crimea and the race in Russia” and then it’ll forget about it as soon as the race is done as GeeMac has stated.
It’s quite different from the Bahrain race (which I’m against and I’m also against a race in Sochi) because Bahrain actually used the race as a cover for its brutal crackdown on protesters. F1 actually became a part of the problem whereas F1 has absolutely nothing to do with what is happening with Russia and Ukraine.
Be that as it may, people are only human after all and everyone has their own lives to live. I certainly don’t buy the argument that just because you speak up once in a while it’s somehow hypocritical or less valid. What I’m after is to see whether people feel that Russia’s relationship with F1 is different than Bahrain’s.
Speaking of which…
I think that Putin is using the race precisely in the same way as the Bahrani rulers, the same way as China: it’s purely an international (and internal) PR exercise – it’s a stamp of approval. Russia may not have major demonstration crackdowns as we speak, but Putin runs a squarely autocratic regime and is simply more adept than many others at hiding his brand of repression – current case in point: the ‘unidentified self-defence militias’ patrolling Crimea.
The Russian round of the World Superbike Championship (September 21st) has been cancelled due to the political unrest – makes you wonder if other series will follow suit.
F1 is excellent at pretending its nose bleeds, so I think the EU would have to speak out on teams going to Russia (like the French government prevented Renault and Ligier from going to 1985 S-A GP) before F1 even discusses it.
As long as Russia doesn’t start putting up UniF1ed banners..
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