Formula 1

2014 Russian Grand Prix in doubt

Sochi F1 circuit

Despite having a seven year contract to host a Formula 1 race at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, next year’s Russian Grand Prix is in doubt after organisers failed to submit an official application to the FIA for the 2014 race in time. The deadline closed on 31 July and was missed due to a spat between the Russian Automobile Federation and race promoter JSC Omega.

The news has been confirmed by a statement from the RAF, which reads in part: “The application to the FIA for submitting the Russian Grand Prix to the 2014 Formula 1 calendar was not sent in proper time as JSC Omega (Promoter) didn’t fulfil the necessary conditions.

“That is: [it] didn’t sign a contract with the Russian Grand Prix organiser, didn’t sign a deal for an application submission and also didn’t pay a fee to the FIA for including an event on the FIA F1 calendar.

“RAF informs that it is ready to include the Russian Grand Prix on to the FIA calendar under force-majeure conditions, permissible by the FIA, as soon as the promoter fulfils all the necessary formalities.”

The dispute centers around the funding of preparatory programs for the race, including the training of track marshals. The training has being carried out to date by the FIA Institute and CAMS with funding from the FIA. However, the RAF claims it needs to secure finances from the race promoter in order to continue its preparations.

There are other areas of impasse as well, including the commercial and intellectual property rights along with the contract terms between the RAF and JSC Omega.

[Source: Autosport | Pic: Joe Saward]

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5 replies on “2014 Russian Grand Prix in doubt”

It seems to me that all these ‘postponed’ races have the same factors of problems. That is, that multiple groups ‘manage’ the event. If the event was managed by one group, say the Russian Federation of Automobile, who could also be the promoter, then the race would probably go ahead. Much like what happened in New Jersey. Politics – all stupid.

I think this has been brewing for a very long time and is actually due to an ‘extra’ party’s involvement unique to this race’s development – the International Olympic Committee and the local Organising Committee. The preparation for the Olympics early next year is rumoured to be behind schedule, which could have had the organisers invoke their right to veto the 2014 Grand Prix if it was having an impact for preparation of the site for the Olympics.

I also don’t think that slimming down the number of organisations involved is going to make things any better, it would just change things from there being possible new races which might fail to a guarantee of no new races. Don’t forget that there would be no Australian GP on the world championship calendar if it were left fully up to the insular national or state bodies – in the 70’s and 80’s CAMS was an insular koala park that could hardly care less about the international motorsport world and went out of their way to use uniquely arcane local rules. A third party – the SA Motor Sport Board – was needed to get the process moving and steamroll over the active opposition from both CAMS and the Sporting Car Club, opposition which mysteriously evaporated once the battle was won and there was a massive sanctioning fee on the table for CAMS to collect.

I almost wish the SAMSB had told CAMS to shove it and had them kicked off the FIA for a new insurgent national sanctioning body more open to the rest of the world to take their place. Defeating CAMS in the 1980s instead of kowtowing to their hypocrisy could have saved so much stupidity in the 30 years since then, especially the ugly battle over their unique local spin on the international Super Touring rules in the 90’s, the wacky Procar categories and the ridiculous persistence with the unique local Formula Pacific/Brabham/Holden/F4000 category as the official national driver’s championship.

You raise a good point there Dave. It is a shame for rising motorsports men and women of Australia that there is still little support for any sport with an engine in Australia (on the whole). Certainly in terms of attracting international attention. Thank goodness for the Australian GP and the Targa Tasmania. I will be sure to keep going to the F1 in Melbourne for years to come – that is unless the engines truly sound as horrendous as the recent Mercedes simulated lap of Monza.

Fruit for thought ^ thanks for shedding some light.

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