Top Russian official slams ‘dishonourable’ FIA

Thu, 21 July 2022, 09:00

Jul.21 (GMM) Russia’s top motor racing official has slammed the “dishonourable” FIA for kicking the country out of Formula 1.

Not only was F1’s contract for its annual race at Sochi axed over the Ukrain-Russia conflict, Nikita Mazepin and Uralkali were ousted at Haas and Ferrari tester Robert Shwartzman now competes under his Israeli license.

So as Russia’s new Igora circuit near St Petersburg – which was set to become the new Russian GP venue – was unveiled this week, Sergey Ivanov had some choice words about F1’s governing body.

“The situation is such that there are difficulties for us,” said the boss of the Russian Automobile Federation.

“International competitions were cut off for us, which is dishonourable on the part of the FIA. They violated the Olympic charter by mixing politics with sport.

“So we are forced to postpone what was planned here for the time being,” Ivanov is quoted by the Russian auto racing portal Championat.

“But the sport will not die here. I noticed that when it becomes difficult, for some reason there is a breakthrough. So I am sure that the venue will be busy.”

Indeed, Igora Drive’s circuit director Andrea Benozzi said the track has been designed to be able to conclude deals with series other than Formula 1.

“We have had very active dialogues with all the world series – Dorna with MotoGP and Superbike, WEC, WRC. Everyone was extremely interested,” he said.

“As soon as the situation allows us to resume all of these dialogues, we will do it without hesitation. A lot of work has already been done.

“We want everything to come back here,” Benozzi added.

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