Russia could have own F1 team - deputy PM

<i>Image: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP</i>
<i>Image: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP</i>
MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP

Russia's deputy prime minister thinks there could soon be a Russian Formula 1 team on the grid.

Next year, Daniil Kvyat could be joined on the grid not only by Sergey Sirotkin but another Russian driver Artem Markelov, while Nikita Mazepin is also knocking on the door.

Russian contingent

Russian deputy PM Dmitry Kozak says motor racing is gaining in popularity in Russia.

READ: Russian driver could replace Stroll

"I know there are many lovers of motor sports in Russia and also wealthy businessmen who are ready to invest in the creation of a Russian F1 team," he told Tass news agency.

The news agency said Kozak even met with these businessmen at Sochi to discuss the formation of a Russian team.

"The result of our meeting with automakers should be the creation of a Russian F1 car.

'Done within a decade'

"We talked about 2024, but I do not think that it can be done in that time. But I think it can be done within a decade," he added.

Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone backed the development.

"It's great that the number of Russian drivers is increasing, but I hope there will be a Russian team. That would be even better," he said at Sochi.

Controversial Russian president Vladimir Putin will attend Sunday's Russian grand prix, the Kremlin announced.

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