Russia wants full grandstands for Sochi race

Alexey Titov
Alexey Titov

(GMM) Sochi race organizer Alexey Titov is hoping the grandstands are full when Russia welcomes Formula 1 in September.

With F1 currently embarking on a string of 'ghost races', Russia looks likely to be the first grand prix since the start of the coronavirus pandemic to be attended by spectators.

"At the moment, we are witnessing a positive trend in the sports world of the post-quarantine period," Titov told Sport-Express.

He said the Russian government is currently allowing sports events to be attended by 10 percent of their normal capacity.

"From August 1, the number of spectators can increase to 50 percent capacity," said Titov.

"All of this allows us to prepare for our event with maximum capacity. At the same time, we will monitor the situation and consider the health of our fans as our first priority and adjust the scenario depending on the recommendations we receive."

It is a vastly different scenario in Austria this weekend, where the grandstands are empty and those 2000 essential workers in attendance are following strict protocols.

When asked whether it was difficult to convince Liberty Media to agree to the plan for spectators, Titov answered: "For us, the main task was not to convince our colleagues from Formula 1, but to assess the risks for ourselves and analyze how safe the spectators would be at the race.

"In partnership with Liberty, with the support and assistance of the government of the Russian Federation, we were able to make it possible," he said.

"There has not been a single (coronavirus) case in Austria, therefore we are optimistic."

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