Rotenberg not ruling out Russian F1 team
"The more teams, the more opportunities there will be"
Russian billionaire Boris Rotenberg has admitted he could set up a Formula 1 team.
At Sochi, Russia’s visiting trade and industry minister Denis Manturov told Ria Novosti news agency: "I think a Russian team will appear. It is not far off."
The man closest to making that happen is Rotenberg, whose SMP Racing operation backs Sergey Sirotkin, recently had an LMP1 team at Le Mans, and supports scores of Russian drivers in various categories.
Rotenberg, who is closely linked with Russian president Vladimir Putin, said at Sochi: "The more you try to create in motorsport, the more chance you have to flourish.
"Do we want to create a Formula 1 team? I think the more teams there are, the more opportunities there will be for our drivers.
"Everything is possible," said the SMP Bank founder.
"The main thing is to make the effort. First of all are the financial considerations."
A prominent SMP Racing driver is Robert Shwartzman, who wrapped up the Formula 3 title at Sochi. The Russian is also backed by Ferrari.
"Robert needs to keep progressing and moving up the ladder," Rotenberg said. "I think he will go to Formula 2 now."
20-year-old Shwartzman commented: "I want to go to Formula 1, the problem is that there are no opportunities or unoccupied places.
"Many people I work with think it’s too early for me to go to Formula 1 now, but speaking for myself, I am ready. I would risk it if I could," he said.