Sirotkin still in at Renault despite Vasseur exit

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GP2 racer Sergey Sirotkin will stay with Renault in 2017 despite the departure from the French outfit of Fred Vasseur who had recruited the Russian.

The 21-year-old who finished third in the GP2 series in 2016 and tested for Renault signed an agreement with the manufacturer which was brokered by SMP Racing boss Boris Rotenberg, who confirmed that Sirotkin's involvement with Renault remains intact.

"The programme does not change, even though in Renault there was a change of leader," said Rotenberg, quoted by the Tass news agency.

"We met with Frederic Vasseur, now it is necessary to meet with the new head. But Vasseur himself told us that everything will stay the same. On this issue, we plan to make a separate presentation and will say more."

Rothenberg, who owns Russia's SMP Bank, also insisted that US sanctions imposed on him - reportedly for being close to Russian president Vladimir Putin - do not affect the motor racing programme.

"We're moving forward and pay no attention to the sanctions," he said. "We did not abandon Indycar last year and this year we will stay.

"The people there welcomed us, constantly saying it's a pity I cannot come. Sport should be out of politics," Rothenberg added.

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