NEXT SOCHI GP: The 2014 Sochi GP, won by Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, was held in the shadow of the Crimean controversy. Could Russia's rouble woes affect the 2015 race? Image: AFP / Dimitar Dilkoff
MOSCOW, Russia - A new cloud may be descending over the 2015 Russian Formula 1 GP - and it's all to do with money.
In 2014, although the Sochi F1 was raced, swirling speculation had suggested that it was in doubt due to the Crimean crisis and the Malaysia Airlines MH17 disaster.
Russian GP promoter OJSC Centre Omega has cancelled the Sochi Autodrome's scheduled round of the Red Bull Air Race, an obstacle-dodging event for aerobatic planes, scheduled for May 2015.
'WE STILL HOPE TO RACE'
The promoter announced that "the current exchange rate situation" had affected "the balance between the operational costs and costs of the tickets".
Red Bull's Erich Wolf confirmed: "Due to the current situation with the international capital markets our partners in Russia are facing extremely high exchange rates. This makes it impossible to set up an infrastructure to our high standards or to provide fans affordable tickets.
"Nevertheless we still hope to stage a race in Sochi in the future."
Omega insisted that the 2015 Russian GP, scheduled for October, remains the Sochi Autodrome's forthcoming "major event of the year".