OCTOBER 4, 2019
Russian DTM track denies Formula 1 race talk
The boss of a Russian racing circuit located north of St Petersburg has denied it could be in the running to join the Formula 1 calendar.
Recently, reports emerged that Russian president Vladimir Putin favoured moving the Russian GP from Sochi to St Petersburg.
"I heard that it could change to St Petersburg," said former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who is an open admirer of Putin's.
"Let's wait and see what happens, but I like St Petersburg."
It is amid that backdrop that eyebrows were raised when the German touring car series DTM announced this week that it will race in Russia next year at a circuit called Igora Drive.
Igora, located in Priozersk, is just a two hour drive from St Petersburg.
That proximity has fired up rumours that the DTM race could be a precursor to Igora making a bid to host a grand prix in the near future.
"Concerning Formula 1, we did not conduct any negotiations," track boss Vladimir Vasiliev is quoted by Russia's Sport-Express.
"I don't know where the rumours come from."
However, while it is reported that Igora is categorised Grade 2 by the FIA, Vasiliev said the circuit will actually be Grade 1, which is the standard for Formula 1.
"We'll get all the documents soon," he said.