Russia has GP preparations 'on back burner'

By on Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A scale model of the Russian Grand Prix circuit at Sochi

Preparations for the inaugural Russian grand prix in 2014 appear to have hit a roadblock.

We reported last weekend that rumours were circulating in the Barcelona paddock that the Sochi race now appears "doomed".

The state owned Moscow news agency Ria Novosti now reports that political issues have created "serious delays" in the race's preparations, according to an adviser with the Russian Automobile Federation.

The official, Igor Yermilin, insisted that the project is not doomed, but he said very few efforts have taken place following the bureaucratic reshuffling of the local Krasnodar region.

He said some officials of the Omega company, responsible for the F1 circuit project, have lost their jobs.

"In the Krasnodar region there has been have been quite serious changes in the leadership," Yermilin said, "including people from Omega who signed the contract on holding the Russian grand prix".

The coastal city Sochi is also scheduled to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

"The main thing at the moment is the Olympics -- the grand prix is on the back burner," said Yermilin.

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