Bernie Ecclestone Says Russian Grand Prix on Schedule

Bernie Ecclestone says F1 will respect the contract with promoters of the Russian Grand Prix - scheduled to take place in Sochi later in the year.

Updated: August 22, 2014 20:04 IST
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Bernie Ecclestone selfie
Selfie time? Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone (R) looks at a mobile phone stands in the paddock during the first practice session at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.


Spa: Formula One ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone on Friday said he had no doubt that this year's controversial inaugural Russian Grand Prix in Sochi will go ahead as planned in early October. (Updates from Belgian F1)

Speaking to reporters in the paddock at Belgian Grand Prix practice, the 83-year-old Briton said he and Formula One would respect their contract with the promoters.

"We have a contract," he said. "Our friends there are happy with the contract, we are happy. We will be there. If people have arguments with Russia, maybe they have, but we haven't got any."

Earlier this week, the International Motoring Federation (FIA) race director Charlie Whiting gave the Sochi Autodrome circuit the green light to stage the race from October 10-12.

This came despite calls for F1 to boycott Russia because of the conflict in Crimea between pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine. Sanctions were imposed against Russia by Western allies, with Russia retaliating by banning food imports.

Politicians have suggested that F1 makes a stand against Russia, but the sport has maintained it does not become involved with politics.

Ecclestone said also that his management of the sport had not changed this year despite the Munich court case in which he was involved, before it was settled.

Proceedings against Ecclestone on allegations of bribery relating to a $44 million payment to former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky were called off last week after he agreed to pay a $100 million settlement.

He said: "Nothing ever changed. It was a couple of days I wasn't in the office, that was all. But it is better because I had to do things at the weekend to catch up with what I missed."

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