Russia could put an F1 team on the grid, says deputy PM

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Motor racing's increasing popularity in Russia could lead the country to set up its own F1 team in the future, according to deputy prime Minister Dmitry Kozak.

Russia has increased its presence in Formula 1 recently, adding Sergey Sirotkin to the grid this year, mainly thanks to the support of SMP, a Russian financial institution.

Next season, Daniil Kvyat will return to Grand Prix racing with Toro Rosso while young drivers Artem Markelov and Nikita Mazepin ambition to join the ranks of F1 in the future.

"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 Formula 1 team," Kozak told Tass, adding that he had held a meeting with potential partners in Sochi this weekend

"The result of our meeting with automakers should be the creation of a Russian Formula 1 car," he said.

"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.

One man who hopes Russia's plans come to pass if former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, a visitor to the Sochi paddock this weekend.

"It's great that the number of Russian drivers is increasing," said the 87-year-old. "But I hope there will be a Russian team. That would be even better."

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