Aug.22 (GMM) Formula 1 will never return to Russia, the sport’s CEO Stefano Domenicali has sensationally revealed.
The country, until now with an annual grand prix at Sochi and plans to relocate to St Petersburg, was kicked off the calendar as part of sweeping sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.
“I’ve always believed that you should never say never,” said Domenicali when asked about Russia’s chances of mounting a comeback.
“But in this case, I can promise for sure – we will no longer negotiate with them,” the Italian told Sport Bild magazine. “There will be no more racing in Russia.”
When asked to comment on Domenicali’s position, Russian GP promoter Alexey Titov told Tass news agency: “The current situation in world sports is extremely politicised.
“It is necessary to take Domenicali’s words here with this in mind. What he said has a pronounced political connotation that has nothing to do with the real spirit of sports.
“The future of our relations today is really unclear. We will take Domenicali’s position into account in our further work,” Titov, representing the promoter Rosgonki, said.
He also revealed that Formula 1 is yet to return payments that were made by Rosgonki for the axed 2022 Russian GP.
“This debt exists, it is confirmed and our position on it is unchanged,” said Titov. “We expect a refund regardless of the current position of FOM in relation to holding races in the Russian Federation,” Titov said.