With political tensions running high between Britain and Russia, at least two British politicians have put on pressure on Formula One to cancel the Russian Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place in Sochi on Oct. 12.The F1 event was thrust into conversations after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine, killing 298 people.
According to the Telegraph, David Davis and Sir Menzies Campbell are both calling for the race to be cancelled.
“If Russia continues as they have been doing, then the Grand Prix is one of many things that they should be denied,” said parliament member Davis, who is a former minister in the Foreign Office. “F1 already had a problem in the past with Bahrain. While I’m not particularly in favor of cancelling sports events at the drop of a hat, I think that Formula One should reflect the global outrage. It would be an important and appropriate response to cancel the race.”
Campbell, of the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, agreed.
“Public opinion all over the world will find it difficult to accept [Russian president] Mr. [Vladimir] Putin taking all the plaudits for this Grand Prix in Russia and, no doubt, presenting the prizes.”
Despite the pressure, the FIA has shown no indication that it plans to cancel the race. A spokesman for the group told the Telegraph that it “does not mix politics and sport.”
There is also nervousness about the ramifications of any kind of travel restrictions that might be implemented on anyone trying to get in and out of Russia if the race goes on. If the Formula One schedule doesn’t change, and it isn’t expected to, all the freight from the race will have to travel to the United States for the Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.