City officials for the Russian resort city of Sochi have confirmed that the contract for the inaugural Grand Prix in the former Soviet Union allows for the event to be postponed if preparations for the city’s 2014 Winter Olympic games hosting commitments are disrupted.
We reported two weeks ago that the city’s mayor, Anatoly Pakhomov, had admitted that the Grand Prix debut could be pushed back a year in the wake of the International Olympic Committee fearing that the city’ organisers had bitten off more than they could chew in trying to prepare two unrelated major international sporting events.
The city’s head of the Olympic organising committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, admitted that F1 will play second fiddle if resources come under threat, telling the insidethegames.biz website that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s priority is getting the Olympic Games done properly.
“[We have had] reassurances from our state leaders that if there should be some minor concerns [with] clashes with these two projects, then – in accordance to the contract between the host organisation and Formula 1 owners – the first [Grand Prix] could hold on until 2015. The Olympics will come first,” he said.