Russian race facing collapse

Reports have emerged that the Russian Grand Prix is in danger of a last-minute withdrawal from the 2015 calendar due to financial issues, just a year after the nation’s inaugural race.

The Russian media is reporting that the event organisers have appealed for a €64 million bailout from the government amidst a major economic crisis. It is believed that only 20,000 tickets have been sold for this year’s race to date, despite the 2014 Russian Grand Prix attracting a capacity crowd of 65,000.

Veniamin Kondratiev, interim governor of the Krasnodar region, commented: “If there is no credit, there will be no F1. We will not use our regional funds for F1.”

The race track was said to have been affected by the widespread flooding that swept through the region last month, leading to a state of emergency being declared as all major public amenities were affected. This follows a battle for funding for schools and other public services since early 2015.

The decision to hold a Russian Grand Prix courted considerable controversy for F1 due to the international sanctions placed against the country following its invasion of the Crimea in March 2014, as well as its human rights contraventions.

The Sochi Autodrom has a 10 year contract to host the Russian Grand Prix, ending in 2024.

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