Putin to attend Sochi race on Sunday

Oct.11 (GMM) Controversial president Vladimir Putin will attend the Russian grand prix at Sochi on Sunday, the state-owned Tass news agency reports.

Adding that Putin plans to meet with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, a Kremlin spokesman confirmed: “The president will attend these (F1) competitions.”

Tass said Putin has met with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince before, the report explaining that one issue discussed was “the situation in the Middle East, including in Syria”.

In the West, Putin has been harshly criticised in recent weeks following Russia’s controversial military intervention in Syria.

But an avowed friend of Putin’s is the F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who has admitted his affection for the Russian president in the past.

Ecclestone, however, was criticised for taking the sport into Russia last year, particularly after the Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down in the Ukraine.

The 84-year-old is unapologetic.

“I think it’s good for formula one that we have opened the doors to more countries,” Ecclestone told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf at Sochi.

“It is part of the development of the sport. Without progress, we would still be at Zandvoort,” he insisted.

Ecclestone added: “Many emerging economies have picked up the gauntlet and gone to work, while some organisers of the old circuits were looking backwards and did nothing to improve themselves.”

Related News

  • 01/10/2018 Fellow boss backs Wolff over team order Oct.1 (GMM) Otmar Szafnauer has backed fellow team boss Toto Wolff amid the team orders controversy of Sochi. Pole sitter Valtteri Bottas was upset after the Russian grand prix, as […]
  • 03/05/2017 Ecclestone happy with Ferrari-Mercedes fight May 3 (GMM) Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says the best thing about the sport's new era is that there is finally a fight at the front. Invited as a guest of the respective […]
  • 12/10/2015 Cregan wants quick decision over Sochi night race Oct.12 (GMM) Richard Cregan wants a decision to be made quickly if next year's Russian grand prix is going to be held under floodlights. Earlier, we reported that Russian deputy prime […]
  • 29/04/2016 Russia GP night race talks still on Apr.29 (GMM) Talks are still on track for Sochi to switch to a night race format in the future. Last year, it was reported the Russian organisers, supported by president Vladimir Putin, […]
  • 30/04/2016 Russia GP secure with Putin’s backing – Ecclestone Apr.30 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone says Russia will stay on the F1 schedule so long as it has the backing of Vladimir Putin. The F1 supremo is an avowed admirer of the controversial Russian […]
  • 03/05/2016 Russia not ready for more F1 races – minister May 3 (GMM) Russia's sports minister has played down suggestions the country might add another annual grand prix to the F1 calendar. F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said at Sochi last […]
  • 10/10/2015 Russia determined to have long F1 future Oct.10 (GMM) Russia appears determined to establish a long-term future on the F1 calendar. The race at Sochi, a resort city on the Black Sea coast, was initially controversial amid the […]
  • 01/10/2015 Putin approves night race switch for Sochi Oct.1 (GMM) Vladimir Putin has given his approval to the switch to floodlights for the Russian grand prix at Sochi. In August, promoter Sergei Vorobyov travelled to Spa for talks with […]
  • 19/10/2015 Ecclestone defends ‘opinions’ after pro-Putin interview Oct.19 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has defended airing his "opinions" in a controversial interview with Russian state-funded television RT. Just as his sport makes to the trek to Austin for […]
  • 15/11/2018 Ecclestone quiet on Brazil GP rescue Nov.15 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone is not saying whether he will leap to the rescue of the Brazilian grand prix. The former F1 supremo, who lives part-time in the country and whose wife […]