Following on from F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali insisting that the championship will never return to Russia, the Russian Grand Prix CEO has expressed his views on the Italian’s “extremely politicised” comments.
Following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, F1 and the FIA have clamped down on Russia’s involvement with their championships.
The 2022 Russian Grand Prix was cancelled due to the ongoing situation, with any future race in the nation also ruled out by Domenicali.
This year was supposed to be F1’s last race at Sochi, with the Russian GP set to be moved to Saint Petersburg at the Igora Drive circuit.
The Mercedes F1 Team have a 100% winning record at Sochi, with last year’s race having been one of the most thrilling in recent years.
Domenicali is insisting that the sport will have no “more negotiations” with Russia, in support of Ukraine.
“We will not have any more negotiations with them,” Domenicali told Sport Bild, as per Russian news agency TASS.
“There will be no more racing there.”
Ex-F1 driver Vitaly Petrov and Dmitry Svishchev, chairman of the sports administration in Russia’s federal lower house, the State Duma, have already spoken about their disgust over Domenicali’s choice of words.
Both gentlemen insist the championship will return to Russia very soon, with Domenicali not being the F1 CEO “forever”.
Alexey Titov, the CEO of Russian GP promoter ANO Rosgonki, has shed his thoughts on Domenicali’s comments.
Titov believes that world sport has become highly political, something which is difficult to argue with; however, the Russian GP CEO is disappointed that Domenicali’s decision to cancel the 2022 event was based on “bold political context”, rather than keeping the “spirit” of F1.
“The current situation in the world of sports is extremely politicised,” he said.
“In view of this context we must accept the statement of Domenicali.
“There was a bold political context in everything he said, and it had nothing to do with the spirit of sports.
“The future of our relations is unclear today. We will take into account Domenicali’s stance in our future work.”
Despite reluctantly respecting the F1 CEO’s decision, Titov also backed-up what had previously been said by Svishchev, that F1 haven’t repaid Russia for cancelling their Grand Prix.
Titov explained that no money has been received yet from the championship, and that there is a “debt to be paid”.
“If we speak about our previous work, one fact remains unaltered – it is about the corrupted 2022 Grand Prix in Russia and money was supposed to be transferred back,” Titov continued.
“But as of today, the money is not received.
“There is a debt to be paid, it is registered, and our position remains unchanged in this regard.
“We are waiting for the refund of the financial means despite FOM (Formula One Management) current stance in regard to the organisation of races on the territory of Russia.”