Russian Formula One driver Vitaly Petrov is unhappy about the lack of clarity over plans to host the first Russian Grand Prix in 2014, amid speculation the project may be delayed, he told RIA Novosti on Friday.
Little construction work has been carried out on the track in Sochi since March, when a shake-up in the regional government left some race organizers out of a job, Russian Automobile Federation adviser Igor Yermilin told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
Petrov and other leading figures in Russian motorsport know very little about the state of the project, the Caterham driver said.
“We’re not unimportant people in Russian motorsport, but even we know next to nothing about this,” he said.
“On the one hand, it’s not our business, but I’d really like to read something in the news about how everything’s going and whether it’ll be delayed until 2015.”
Despite the uncertainty, Petrov said he remains confident that if the race happens it will be a success and able to overcome the problem of low attendance that has dogged some recent additions to the F1 calendar.
“If a race takes place in Russia, then it’ll definitely be done to the very highest standard. And in any case, there won’t be ten people in the stands – all of Russia will come in support.”
In October 2010, Mikhail Kapirulin, head of the Omega company organizing the race, signed an agreement with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone on staging the Russian Grand Prix for six years from 2014 through 2020, in the presence of then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
The F1 race is part of wider plans to turn Sochi, a beach resort in southern Russia, into one of the country’s premier sports venues, as the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics and likely host of 2018 World Cup matches.