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FIA quell Russian GP fears

Tuesday 13th May 2014

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FIA quell Russian GP fears

FIA quell Russian GP fears

FIA president Jean Todt maintains the inaugural Russian F1 Grand Prix will take place in October as planned, despite the political unrest in neighbouring Ukraine.

The viability of the race been in question since its inception, but concerns intensified after the World Superbike Championship race that was scheduled to take place in September was cancelled earlier.

The organisers of the Russian round of the WSBK Champs stated that the "the current political situation affects the capabilities of a number of key partner companies essential to run the event."

Todt, though insists that preparations at the of the Sochi street track that was constructed around the resort's Olympic site remain on schedule.

"At the moment there is no change to the calendar. Russia is on," Todt said.

"I am comfortable with what the FIM (world motorbike federation) has done, but at the moment we don't have any reason to reconsider any race we have on the calendar.

"We will speak to people who are involved with all of that," he added when asked if he is considering rescheduling the race.

"But as I say, at the moment we have nothing that should change the running of the calendar."

While construction at the facility continues unabated, the decision regarding how many temporary stands to install there should be made sometime next week.

"I have no doubts the race will go ahead," race promoter Sergey Vorobyev said.

"We have construction being done at a good pace, we have the operational and sporting preparations also being done very extensively. There is no doubt from any point of view that the race will happen.

"We have entered a very active phase in the construction," he added. "We are doing the final interior works on the team buildings, pit building and main grandstand.

"We are preparing for laying the final layer of asphalt which will be done quite soon. We are confident that in August we will have the circuit completed."

A consultant to the Sochi organisers, Richard Cregan, who is a former Chief of the Abu Dhabi circuit, allayed fears about the readiness of the track.

"It's going very well at the moment," he said.

"There's no question it will be tight but it will be ready, it will be complete.

"We had a good meeting with the FIA and (race director) Charlie (Whiting) for the inspections and all that so that's all going to be scheduled soon.

"Charlie's quite happy and obviously he'll come and inspect and then set up a second inspection date and go from there."

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