SMP not looking to deepen F1 involvement

Feb.3 (GMM) Boris Rothenberg, who heads Russia’s major SMP Bank and a racing division called SMP Racing, said he is not looking to expand the F1 programme.

SMP has been represented across motor racing, including Le Mans and Indycar, but the centrepiece is its involvement in formula one.

Last year, it was in the form of a partnership with the works Renault team, and this year Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin is slated to step up and become the official reserve driver.

But Rothenberg, a billionaire and reportedly close to controversial Russian president Vladimir Putin, says that for now, the SMP programme will not expand within F1.

“Yes, the programme is moving forwards, but as for it growing, only heaven knows,” he told the Ria Novosti news agency.

“For now we can count only on ourselves to build the programme. If specific objectives are set for us then we can think differently, but in the meantime we can rely only on ourselves.

“So at the moment, yes,” said Rothenberg, when asked if SMP’s involvement will be limited to Sirotkin’s Renault test seat.

Related News

  • 18/12/2017 Billionaire backer pushes for Sirotkin seat Dec.18 (GMM) Powerful Russian businessman Boris Rotenberg says he is pushing hard to secure Sergey Sirotkin's place on the 2018 grid. The matter of Williams' final driver for next season […]
  • 12/05/2016 Russia to have F1 team eventually – Petrov May 12 (GMM) Former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov thinks plans for a Russian team are on track. Petrov, who raced for Renault and Caterham, now drives in Le Mans sports cars with SMP Racing, […]
  • 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 […]
  • 10/02/2016 Petrov eyes F1 future for Russian team Feb.10 (GMM) F1 could have a Russian team in the not-too-distant future. Former Renault and Caterham driver Vitaly Petrov, who was the first Russian to race in formula one, will this […]
  • 04/05/2016 Billionaire eyes Russian F1 team May 4 (GMM) A billionaire has admitted he would like to establish a Russian formula one team. In February, as former F1 driver Vitaly Petrov signed for the Le Mans LMP2 team SMP Racing, […]
  • 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, […]
  • 12/12/2016 Sirotkin eyes Renault race seat for 2018 Dec.12 (GMM) Sergey Sirotkin has admitted he is pushing to become Renault's race driver by 2018. Third in this year's GP2 standings, the young Russian was a Renault test driver this year […]
  • 31/01/2018 Lowe defends Williams’ 2018 driver lineup Jan.31 (GMM) Paddy Lowe says Williams' 2018 driver lineup is an "investment" rather than a "gamble". The British team has been criticised for choosing the well-sponsored Russian rookie […]
  • 21/05/2019 Sirotkin insists Williams did not ‘get rid of’ him May 21 (GMM) Sergey Sirotkin says he left Williams at the end of last year following a "mutual decision". The once-great British team was already struggling in 2018, when Russian […]