'Russian drivers at risk over US, EU sanctions'
15 April 2014 – Racing programmes of various Russian drivers are under threat following the sanctions that have been placed on their country by the United States and the European Union because of the current situation in Ukraine. This is the warning from SMP Racing, which financially supports talents including Sauber tester Sergey Sirotkin.
The European bank accounts of SMP Racing, established last year by Russian billionaire Boris Rotenberg, have been frozen, potentially leading to consequences for the drivers (nearly 50) connected with the project.
SMP Racing Director Sergey Zlobin, who tested for the Minardi Formula 1 team in 2002, has urged the United States and Europe to allow Russian athletes to compete freely in international competitions. Now contesting the World Endurance Championship, he stressed that sports and politics should remain separate at all times.
SMP Racing also backs Mikhail Aleshin, who became the first Russian to enter the IndyCar series this season.