Sergey Sirotkin, Sauber, Sochi, 2013

No reason to drop Russian Grand Prix – Todt

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Sergey Sirotkin, Sauber, Sochi, 2013In the round-up: FIA president Jean Todt is not considering cancelling the Russian Grand Prix amid growing concern over the political crisis involving the country and Ukraine which has led to sanctions being imposed against Russian institutions.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Russian GP on track despite Ukraine crisis (Reuters)

“International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt, speaking separately to reporters, said that currently there was ‘nothing that should change the running of the calendar’.”

Ecclestone ‘paid banker $44m bribe’ (BBC)

“Gribkowsky, the star witness for the prosecution, claims he was first approached by Mr Ecclestone in Singapore. ‘I had a carrot dangled in front of me. I grabbed the carrot,’ he told the court in Munich.”

Former banker tells court of Formula One chief’s $80m offer (FT, registration required)

“[Gribkowsky] told the court that in addition to proposing the $80m sum, Mr Ecclestone described [Singapore] ‘as the last safe harbour’ for hiding money.”

F1 warned against ‘artificial’ noise (Autosport)

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley: “If we’re judging F1 on noise alone we’re probably using the wrong criteria.”

Jenson Button rules out retirement and vows to race on for sixteenth season (The Mirror)

“No, you still give it the most you can. I enjoy my job. I want to be in a competitive car next year. I definitely want to be in F1.”



Jaime Alguersuari, Richard Branson, Sam Bird, Virgin Racing Formula E Team, 2014

Virgin’s Formula E team used this image to announce their driver line-up yesterday. Sir Richard Branson (centre) will probably not be doing as much of the driving as Jaime Alguersuari and Sam Bird.

Also, note the 2010 Virgin F1 car in the background…

Comment of the day

Lewis Hamilton says Nico Rosberg is as tough as team mate as Fernando Alonso was but @Colossal-Squid isn’t convinved:

I think it’s very hard to compare Rosberg in 2014 to Alonso in 2007. Fernando coming into 2007 was the hottest property on the grid – a double world drivers’ champion and a multiple race winner who had just beaten the great Michael Schumacher to the championship in 2006. I agree that Alonso has matured greatly since the events of 2007, both on the track and off of it, but I still don’t think Rosberg is at the level of a double world champion.

He’s a great driver to be sure, but I don’t see the comparison to 2007′s Alonso… Rosberg isn’t accustomed to fighting for a championship or even regular wins yet. Alonso in 2007 most definitely was. This can make a huge difference.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Hyoko and Jen Campbell!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

1994 F1 seasonTwenty years ago today Michael Schumacher took the first pole position of his career in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Mika Hakkinen’s McLaren joined him on the front row of the grid.

Images © Sauber, Virgin Racing

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 86 comments on “No reason to drop Russian Grand Prix – Todt”

    1. Keep my ears peeled? O.o

      1. BJ (@beejis60)
        14th May 2014, 1:44

        hear no evil…

      2. You should do as they say. In case anyone hasn’t seen it yet…

        There’s a chav on the Montmelo parking lot wondering who stole the exhaust from his Corsa.
        It’s like someone lodged a Vuvuzela into the exhaust… If only the cars were THAT loud…

    2. Regarding the COTD, Hamilton never said Rosberg was as tough as Alonso, that was purely journalist sensatialism at it’s finest. All he did was say this lone race was as tough as his hardest against Alonso;

      The most difficult race with a team-mate was with Fernando in 2007, but Nico’s race with me in Bahrain was as equally tough as that. Then this race [Spain] was probably second to that.

      Other than that, all he said was that he sees similarities between the two seasons

      1. @timi

        Hamilton never said Rosberg was as tough as Alonso

        Yes he did, as per the quote you just used:

        The most difficult race with a team-mate was with Fernando in 2007, but Nico’s race with me in Bahrain was as equally tough

        1. Nope, he said Rosberg in Bahrein was as though as Alonso in 2007.

        2. Sorry @keithcollantine but that isn’t saying driver X is as tough as driver Y. It’s just comparing races, not drivers or seasons as a whole, as was implied in the title. It’s semantics to say that he was saying Rosberg is as tough as Alonso, – it’s clear he was comparing races

          1. +1
            Thats exactly what I thought after reading the full article.

          2. @timi

            It’s semantics to say that he was saying Rosberg is as tough as Alonso

            Whichever side you take this is a discussion about semantics.

            And I never disputed that Hamilton was referring to a specific occasion.

            1. So if Manchester City were playing Portsmouth FC and Portsmouth won, and the manchester manager said that was as tough as our toughest game against Manchester utd does that mean that Portsmouth are as good as Man Utd?? of course not. It’s extrapolating from data that just isn’t there.

    3. Where are people like Toto Wolf getting the idea that 60% of fans want louder exhausts, that is twice the number that were unhappy with the new exhaust sound when @keithcollantine ran a poll on these pages at the beginning of the season, has anyone read any other reasonable poll results that suggest the sort of numbers that Toto and apparently most TV pundits believe. Should it be found that F1Fanatics readers are in fact out of step with the average F1 follower I will assume that F1Fanatics are a more sophiscated bunch of fans.

      1. It’s possible to like the sound and want it louder ;-)

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          14th May 2014, 0:46

          But the sound will be just louder, or affected by these “solution”

          Look, I don’t like the new sound, but to pay so much attention to that and to keep other things which are definitely more bothering, such as DRS, is FIA just making more mistakes again.

          1. If a more robust sound can be attained simply by bolting on a megaphone (as pictured), I say why not? Sure it’s artificial, but it shouldn’t cost much, and probably won’t have much impact on engine performance. That said, I’m guessing that the megaphone won’t make much of a difference, and it’s very doubtful that all the teams would go for it anyway. I’m glad that Mercedes is giving it a go, and I’m very curious to hear the results. But I’m also pretty much resigned to getting used to the new, and much quieter F1. Ultimately, good racing is all that really matters.

        2. I for one love the sound of new F1 hybrids! These engines discovered a whole new world of driver’s mistakes I was unaware of before. If you have ever driven a car on the limit you know what it means to throw it in a controled four wheel drift. Controled slide, very slight, barely noticable. However it is the best indicator you’re on the limit. Tires are not squeeking ’cause your’e controling the car productively; moving forward more than sideways… ‘Quiet’ engines exposed these squeeks so much that my perception of F1 drivers as the best on the planet has faded considerably. A great discovery. Thank you FIA!

          To cut the long story; I simply love these new F1 hybrids!

          1. Well I don’t know if I love the new sound just yet, but I can tell you the other day when watching FP1 and hearing the engines for the first time in weeks I thought oh yes, F1 is back!

            In my mind this is now the sound of F1 and the more I associate it with F1 cars the more I will end up liking it.

          2. pxcmerc (@)
            18th May 2014, 5:54

            a four wheel drift is sliding. drifting with two wheels is harder than sliding your car :) and it helps to have a good differential. Slinging your car isn’t hard at all.

      2. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        14th May 2014, 0:56

        @hohum – You, Keith, and everyone on this blog need to understand that the polls here are mildly skewed, because the people on F1F are more of an “advanced” fan. We really are NOT the casual fans, and as such our views/thoughts as collected by the posts, polls, DOTW, etc that Keith runs, are all going to be a bit skewed than if say the FIA or FOM put out a survey, because they have a little better access to the more casual fans.

        And I do not mean this a hostile manner at all. I LOVE what F1F is, and the people on it, but to be frank, we are not the casual viewer, and as a result, we only make up a small percentage of the viewers.

        1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
          14th May 2014, 0:58

          Sorry for all the comma splices. Even in college I’ve always had a problem with them! :D

        2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          14th May 2014, 1:01

          @braketurnaccelerate I don’t know if I’m wrong, but a fan is definitely more often checking the object of interest than the casual viewer.
          That’s why it’s a fanatic.

          1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
            14th May 2014, 1:17

            @omarr-pepper – Yes, you’re right. And, I agree with that we are Fanatics here at F1F. Which still makes my point, that the results of polls and comments here are skewed. Because we are more than a casual fan, we are likely more interested in the technology, good passing, hard racing, etc. Whereas a casual viewer may not quite be as interested if the cars are quiet, or if the race was a bit processional.

            1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
              14th May 2014, 1:34

              @braketurnaccelerate yep. That’s what really affects us. We are almost dinosaurs who won’t change our mind, we really care about real racing. The casual viewer may ask Bernie to add fireworks, hazards or “race against the stars” where you have a chance to race a drone with a joystick from your house…
              One day formula 1 may not be appealing anymore, after having become something more and more ratings-linked material. It’ll only keep the F1 name, but not the escence.
              It’s already happening I guess.

        3. @braketurnaccelerate, Well I said that would be my conclusionif it turns out that there have been many other credible polls that show a majority of fans want more noise from the exhaust, but so far no-one has even mentioned seeing one.

          1. @hohum Thank you. That is exactly the problem. No polls that are actually credible have even been done. And certainly none that polled only fans who had actually attended races. People complaining about the pathetic job FOM has done supplying a sound feed on television are not a good sample.

        4. BJ (@beejis60)
          14th May 2014, 2:00

          @omarr-pepper @hohum @braketurnaccelerate I would say that the average/casual fan would prefer less loudness, honestly. I hosted a visiting professor once who told me he went to the Monaco GP weekend during the v10 years and HATED it because it was too loud and left early… I of course rolled my eyes at his behavior, but I think he truly wasn’t expecting that and so I can see both sides of the argument.

          1. The average/casual fan probably doesn’t attend races unless they’re with somebody much more interested.

      3. I’m with @hohum on this one. Toto is pulling numbers out of deep, dark places. To be honest EVERYONE is. There has not been one, single, scientific poll done. Every poll we’ve seen, even the one here on F1Fanatic is by people who self select. And frankly those polls always turn out to be more negative…well known statistical problem.

        When is someone going to conduct an actual, unbiased poll of fans who actually attend the races live? Those of us who have only seen it on TV are just commenting on the pathetic effort FOM is making to give us a sound feed. I will be in Austin, and possibly Silverstone, depending on schedule. At that point, I’ll be weighing in much more heavily. But frankly, I like the idea that I MIGHT be able to take my daughters to the Austin Grand Prix IF, and ONLY IF they don’t put those silly megaphones on the exhausts by then. I’m not going to take my girls if I have to worry about their hearing.

        1. I think the official poll is whatever the state of viewership is, both in attendance to races and on TV. Of course there could be several reasons for viewership being whatever it is right now, and some of those reasons could even go back to last year with some people not realizing a lot has changed and that it is not always RBR on top.

          If viewership is down…if F1 is in trouble…then it is up to F1 to determine why and do their own polls and act accordingly, but I sure would be surprised if it boiled down to the noise level or type of noise. If F1 has decided it is a key thing then they will change the noise, but I think there is much more to it than that.

          Frankly I am lost right now as to where viewership stands. My perception is that it is down globally and has been trending that way lately. Is that the case? If it has been a trend going back at least a few years then the noise is not the issue. DRS was brought in for a reason, as has double points been. Both before noise became an issue for some. More passing even at the expense of the integrity of the sport since they are fake and unmemorable…double points that risks one driver being robbed and another only winning because of the double points…if it is just about the show on it’s surface and not about substance and integrity, then I guess sure why not add a trumpet to the back of the cars. Tune each car’s differently and we can listen to a concert while watching a race. LH and NR can handle the duets out front.

      4. Should it be found that F1Fanatics readers are in fact out of step with the average F1 follower I will assume that F1Fanatics are a more sophiscated bunch of fans.

        Therein lies the problem @HoHum . We are more sophisticated fans than the average F1 follower. While we’re pouring over race transcripts, sector times and tyre strategies, I’d wager the average viewer wants to sit down and watch fast cars go fast and doing it loudly. Maybe the odd glance into sector times, or wondering what the next tyre/pit lap is, but fast cars + noise, that’s what they want and need to be happy.

      5. Maybe he means that 6 of the 11 teams want it? I haven’t seen any ground for that statement either @hohum.

        I am pretty sure that the “average fan” would only complain AFTER he heard Bernie, Brundle and half of the paddock complain about it on TV (and all of them fell in line to fit Bernies message). Because if FOM had been doing a solid job of actually promoting the series, or had at least tuned their mics to the new sound, I doubt many would have even noticed.

        Sure enough at the track its quite noticeable, but people who go to races are neither “average fans” nor are they even (sadly) the target audience for F1.

      6. maarten.f1 (@)
        14th May 2014, 6:33

        Well duh, obviously they looked at the Ferrari poll. I’m sure they’re just bored at Mercedes, if they can be bothered testing trivial things like this.

      7. I’d say Toto didn’t tell any lie but Fernley has a point. Formula 1 should be proud of itself for embracing the future. In lieu of looking for tweaks to artificially change the sound, they should put all their energy in promoting this new technology.

        I have no doubt that the hybrid solution in place in F1 will become the norm of auto industry sooner rather than later and the economics for the car owner should be a perfect way to market the new world of Formula 1.

      8. I don’t get why not wanting louder cars is seen as a mark of sophistication? If you think the cars being loud is the only or even the most important thing, that’s one matter, but it doesn’t make you a “bad” F1 fan if you miss the sound of the old engines. I’m probably way less into cars in general than most of you (I don’t even own one), but I do miss the noise and think that’s part of what makes F1 special. Sure, I’d take great racing with quiet engines over dull races with noisy engines, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want great racing and loud engines most of all. What’s wrong with that?

      9. I think it’s a different discussion now. Back then people said they are fine with the sound because the solutions proposed all meant an interference with the regulations – and the sound was good just a bit timid.
        But if they can make it louder and not interfere with the competition then more people can get behind the idea – I’m one of them.

      10. Yeah, why do they think we all want louder engines. I’m fine with the current, non-artificial noise.

        Also, people who live nearby circuits on the F1 calendar are probably happy too.

      11. @hohum – What makes me laugh is that most of the people moaning about it won’t go to a live race anyway – they’ll just watch it on the TV. There will be no audible difference on the TV as that is all controlled by the mics and the level the engine sound is mixed in at. You might be able to hear them lock up a bit less and you won’t be able to hear the crowd as clearly but it won’t be any louder unless you turn the volume up!

      12. I would NOT think that the F1Fanatic readers are more sophisticated than the average fan. If thats the case then the “average fans” are sorely being insulted here. I see far more opinions that are opposite to the headlines, seemingly just to be a minority and against the “popular” vote.

      13. I want to inform everyone here that Sky F1 made a poll. And that was when Brundle still was grumpy about the new engines and made negative comments about the sound and yet the vote ended 49%-51%. So basically it was about 50% in favor and against.
        So if we take F1 fanatic and Sky then there are no 60% of fans against the new engine noise.

    4. I dont like the purple.

      1. Me neither. I like their driver line-up (the real drivers)

    5. You could be fooled for thinking that the Virgin ‘Formula E’ image was a photo rather than an ‘image’. Not sure why there is a Concorde in there given that the British authorities would have preferred to have land-filled Concorde rather than have Richard Branson get his hands on it. Anyway, given Branson’s other unusual vehicles, ‘Formula E’ is a better fit for what he is about than F1 and the ‘image’ illustrates that quite nicely.

      Surprised he has gone for Alguersuari, he failed to impress as a BBC commentator, plus he was spat out of F1. He has had his chance and not proven himself to be super quick. It will be a pity if Formula E is full of those that failed at F1, as a formula it needs more ‘Webbers’ and ‘Buttons’ than ‘Alguersuaris’.

      1. @pjsqueak, probably needs more Maldonados’ than anything else, to make it entertaining.

      2. I think Formula E is just trying to promote itself the best it can by using names people are familiar with. I suppose their main problem is that it’s still a bit of a gimmick… If you have a better option (ie WEC, F1 or GP2), why would you join Formula E?

      3. You could be fooled for thinking that the Virgin ‘Formula E’ image was a photo rather than an ‘image’.

        How so?

    6. Some people here seem to think that fans dont care about the noise but try going on any YouTube f1 video and read the comments. All people are complaining about is the noise and how great it was before. Personally i have gotten used to the new sound but if there is a way to amplify it then i am all for it. Since apparently most fans don’t care about the sound either way, and a small minority hates it, a new solution would keep both sets of fans happy.

      1. @aimalkhan, would I be right in also assuming that on youtube crashes are the most popular F1 subject?

        1. I think its wrong to generalise like that. Even the casual f1 fan looks down up people who only watch racing for the crashes. Its one of the reasons why they make fun of NASCAR fans for its stereotype of only watching races for the crashes. Most of the f1 content on youtube is about onboard laps or overtakes. I dont think we can dismiss what the fans are saying just because they are on YouTube and not F1 fanatic.

      2. @aimalkhan I’m on the side of those that care about sound. It’s eargasmic to hear a V12 or a V10 from the 90’s for me. The sound is a huge part of the excitement of motorsports. The Matra V12 from Le Mans, the Quattros, or the Volvo S40 in BTCC.

        It’s pure joy to hear those.

        But… I don’t like gimmicks. Having a horn at the end of the exhaust is just as fake as those people that fit those blowers in road cars that imitate the sound of turbos. Let it be what it is.

        Better to stay true to form than make it artificial.

        1. I agree. Sound is a part of the excitement of motorsports. That is the exact reason why I love these new cars. I can hear the engine, the wheels and the turbos. What’s not to like?

      3. The comments section of YouTube is where the dregs of society reside @aimalkhan, I wouldn’t pay any attention to those.

        1. Ha true that, I can’t remember the last time I saw an intelligent exchange of opinions over there.

      4. On the YouTube video’s:
        – on the videos of the V8 engines, they all complain that the V10 were better
        – on the videos of the V10 engines, they all complain that the V12 were better

        Real fans know more isn’t always better

        1. There’ll be some old farts somewhere (probably the Motor Sport forum) complaining that the BRM V16 was better…

          1. They aren’t localised to that – they are on YouTube too @bullfrog.

          2. @bullfrog, had me confused for a moment there, I think you mean the H16 which unfortunately I never heard, only read about, or I might be that old fart.

      5. Referring to youtube’s comment section for feedback is the worst way you can go about doing that. Detractors are always the loudest. Doesn’t mean they are the majority.

      6. @aimalkhan Your mistake was assuming Youtube had any semblance to intelligent discussion!

    7. Personally i hope the Russian gp goes ahead as planned, if anything the circuit layout looks interesting and could be host to a decent race. Also there seems to be a growing Russian interest in Formula 1 which hopefully will lead to increased sponsorship and i think a race in Russia is needed to help this interest along.

      1. I disagree because, as much as I love to see more people enjoying the sport I love, there there are far more important issues in the world. What Russia have done in Crimea and are attempting to do in the rest of the Ukraine is serious.

        1. Whilst i agree that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is a very serious issue and that Russia should back off, i think that formula 1 and politics should separate themselves, however this never seems to be the case. If the Russian gp drops out than the season losses a race and that is not good for the sport as a whole.

          1. If politics and F1 could be separated @burkenheim, then the FIA should have a policy to back out of any race that gets controversial, to avoid getting used by one side (or all sides) of a conflict (the same could be said for the Olympics, and for Football).

            That goes for Russia (where everyone in the know tells us the race is happening BECAUSE of massive backing from Putin himself – i.e. holding it by itself is thoroughly politic), as it did for Bahrain (where the government IS the race promoter and abused a political slogan promoting it as well). Instead, Todt is perfectly happy to have these regimes misuse F1 for their political goals.

            1. @bascb, Yeah, Hitler had a GP so why shouldn’t Putin, he also gets things done.

          2. Hugo-The-Rabbit
            14th May 2014, 8:44

            Dont worry if it does get dropped. The plan is that some other race will just award double points to make up for it………………..

          3. @burkenheim I don’t think it’s the way to go. I think Russian GP should go ahead but I fall short of promoting the idea that sport events should ignore the political context. F1 and other sports organization must have standards and limits, let’s not say we should ignore politics altogether.

            Putin, in my book, is “this close” of crossing the red line, so far, there’s no reason to cancel the race and punish the people of Russia for their leader madness.

        2. @@dan1124
          Do you know what America and their sidekick Britain have been doing all over the world for the last few decades? Far worse than what is happening between Russia and Ukraine.
          You are just taking the news in the emotion they are shown to you. Are all those Arabs just a collateral damage because they are faceless terrorists? How come all this interest in the Ukraine now? At least Russia has a reason to be worried about instability in Ukraine since it’s on its borders and Crimea was given to Ukraine when the Soviet Union was formed. It never was a part of Ukraine historically, so that is the reason there are so many Russians there.

          Did you boycott British and US GP when they were bombing Serbia, killing civilians as well as army, blowing up hospitals, embassies, throwing cluster grenades (forbidden) and using depleted uranium in highly populated areas?

          I don’t support any war, but please at least be reasonable about it. Question what you hear and what you know. So many innocent civilians have died in middle East for no honorable cause. And it’s till going on.

          1. +1 Well said sir, finally someone making sense in here…

          2. Most people don’t care about the deaths caused by the illegal invasion of Iraq, because they place little or no value on the lives of people who aren’t white. Depressing, but sadly very true. They believe that over 800,000 dead Iraqis is a pretty acceptable price to pay for saving, what, a few hundred white people? Few thousand even? Because it (very debatably) makes us safer from terrorist attacks, apparently it’s all justified. Hence why war criminals like Tony Blair – directly and personally responsible for the deaths of nearly a million civilians – walk free.

            1. @mazdachris I don’t believe people don’t care because the victims of our illegal war were not white, I just think people don’t care because they don’t know or don’t want to know the truth.

          3. Indeed trotter, people in western countries watch the news and assume that is the truth! The US and the UK etc. have done far, far worse around the world recently than Russia, we are complete hypocrites, but the war machine must keep going. How else will bankers and fat cats get even richer? War is pointless and designed to make money for the few and disrupt/destroy the many. It’s all a sick game.

            “Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America nor, for that matter, in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

            Hermann Göring

            1. @zippyone @mazdachris

              That quote from Goring, exactly. It keeps happening over and over again in 90% of the conflict we’ve seen in the last century. The main thing I see is not the color of the skin, but simply to dehumanize the enemy. If people really realized that all the people that are killed are just like them, it would be much harder to swallow, but if they are dehumanized, you don’t feel so bad, because they are no more than an enemy in a computer game.

          4. Yes those poor Serbians, they just wanted to live in peace.

          5. It’s so easy to attack US and UK for their “atrocities” all over the world. In fact, US is evil, everyone else: good boys. Including Valdmir Putin and his band of oligarchs. The rule of law in Western Europe and US is so natural that people don’t even notice, live two years under a paranoid autocratic and you will be missing every bit of home (personal experience).

            The rule is simple, “if you run an autocratic government, if something goes wrong you just blame America”. This rule is applied very often, just ask Mugabe, Al Assad or Nicolas Maduro.

            One should question the merit of attacking Iraq based on questionable data but compare what is happening in Ukraine to what was happening is Serbia is a travesty.

            Maybe people don’t know, but more often than not, governments coming out of an autocratic rule trying to establish themselves as democracies, more often than not, take a long time to stabilize unless they happen to be leading a small population or managed to cool off all the opposing roosters, this usually happens when the “revolutionary” leader is a visionary who can properly use his influence and power, a la Nelson Mandela, as you know it’s a rarity.

            Ukraine is already destabilized and conflicting parts will pick the destabilization trigger according to their camp: one will say it all started with Kiev protesters toppling the president and other will say it was Putin’s occupation of Crimea and sponsorship of further departure from Eastern regions…

            By your logic, Crimea and Serbia are the same thing so you’re either equally happy with both operations or completely against of both…

            1. @jcost

              It’s so easy to attack US and UK for their “atrocities” all over the world. In fact, US is evil, everyone else: good boys. Including Valdmir Putin and his band of oligarchs.

              This is the problem and this is what all regimes have used for hundreds of years – “If you are not with us, you are the enemy!”
              Why do you think that someone who is against US foreign policy, would think anyone who does the same is any better? If I’m against something, it shouldn’t matter if it is coming from US, from Russia, from UK or from wherever.

              It’s actually the same tactic that was used by Stalin. The myth of a domestic traitor and foreign threat, in order to keep the nation on its feet and in constant watch, so as not to figure out that it’s their own government that is the biggest problem. Foreign media (I mostly see western media, since I’m not that good with Russian language :)) is using exactly the same tactic to keep their people in check.

      2. I strongly dislike Russian president Vladmir Putin but I see no reason to cancel the event.

    8. #KeepFightingMichael .. get well soon Schumi and bring back the cheer. 20 years ago he took his first pole. and then nobody could ever challenge your records.

    9. Mario Andretti caption: a lovely couple, celebrates their 65th wedding anniversary in style. Mario, 105, takes his wife Edith, 102, for a wild ride around Indianapolis Motor Speedway

      1. Haha, they do look about the same age…
        “What a nice young man,” said Edith.

    10. Its so sad how predictable it was that Mr. Todt would see no problem what so ever that could mean not going to Russia for the race this year.

      I guess at least a team that states that unless they get forced not to (UK travelling advice, insurance) they are contracted to race there and not much they can do about it. But Todt acts as if its a good thing to be doing this race.
      It was wrong all along because of how the whole Olympics park got to be there in the first place (sure enough the GP track will have sunk in another incomprehensible amount of money), and going now with Russia doing all it can to disrupt its neighbour, surely a sport that really would not want to be politically used should do its utmost best NOT to be used for propaganda.
      But we saw how Todt (and Bernie) handled Bahrain, so yes, it was completely expected that they would be perfectly fine with Russia now.

      1. The thing that nobody seems to want to mention though is that the sanctions against Russia by Europe and the US may make it impossible for a race to go ahead there, even if the foreign office says it’s safe to travel. You’d be talking about tens or even hundreds of companies breaking international sanctions. If there’s a race in Russia, it’s very possible that they would not be able to race in the US, as they may not be allowed to unload anything in the US. It really is that serious. F1 does not exist in isolation, in its own little bubble. Whether you agree with the response to Russian military hostility or not, the fact is that F1 is just as strongly bound by international law as any other institution. F1 would do well to remember that.

        1. @mazdachris, quite right, and surely we fans can live without 1 race if it helps avoid an invasion and consequent millitary conflict.

    11. “Also, note the 2010 Virgin F1 car in the background…”

      Note too the Concorde, which Virgin never even owned or operated…

      1. Oliver Taylor
        14th May 2014, 19:38

        Here’s hoping it’s a sign of things to come.
        (Though I highly doubt it.)

    12. Sure Jean Todt, there’s no reason to drop the Russian Grand Prix! They’re simply a bastion of purity and light. A shining beacon for all the world to see! Just ask any Ukrainian on the street and they’ll tell you all about their wonderful neighbors and friends….the Russians.

    13. Robert McKay
      14th May 2014, 22:10

      Do you think Virgin will stick out Formula E longer than they did F1?

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