A Russian Formula One Team In The Offing?

Since a couple of seasons, we’ve had the United States Grand Prix and the Russian Grand Prix on the calendar. And given the never ending rivalry between the United States of America and Russia, here’s me trying to add some political humour to the most political motor-racing show on earth. (Read: F1 Teams, TV Black Outs And Bernie Ecclestone)

Russia managed to get a slot exactly a weekend before America. I wonder if Putin paid a wee bit extra in hosting fees to try and ensure this positioning. Your guess is as good as mine! (Read: Bernie Checkmates The Indian Grand Prix)

We’ve had Russian and American drivers come and go in the past few seasons. From the current lot, we’ve had Daniil Kvyat racing with Red Bull Racing while Alexander Rossi is temping jobs at Manor.

Come 2016, an all American F1 team – Haas F1 Team – is expected to line up on the grid in Melbourne and go racing. Whether they’ll race or just add to the numbers is not the point of my post. (Read: Your Chance To Own An F1 Team)

Will the arrival of an all American F1 team spur Vladmir Putin to start an all Russian F1 team – the only missing element as Russia takes on United States on Formula One too. Given that Putin is a man of multiple talents, could he play Team Principal, Technical Director and drive a race or two too? If racing is a bit far fetched, could he go better than Haas by ensuring that the Russian F1 team hires only Russian racing talent? And Russia’s political ally in Asia, India, already has an all-Indian racing team in Force India.

Vitaly Petrov, Fernando Alonso’s best pal, could get a second shot to a stable Formula One career along side Daniil Kvyat who could be left unemployed should Red Bull Racing decide to leave the sport at the end of the current season. And the untested Sergio Sirotkin could be the reserve driver. (Read: Thank You Red Bull)

And surely enough, given Putin’s proximity to Bernie Ecclestone the Russian F1 team could be assigned iconic status without much lobbying.

You’re welcome to tune in to the latest episode of the Inside Line F1 PodcastRussia vs. USA In F1 Too?’ where Mithila and I discuss and laugh upon the happening and not-so-happening news from the world of Formula One. Tune in!

PS: This post is for fun and doesn’t intend to hurt sentiments of my readers in the USA, Russia or otherwise. 

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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