No current plans to expand SMP presence in Formula 1


Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Despite Liberty Media Group now confirmed as Formula 1’s new owners, the Russian bank SMP have revealed that their are no plans at the present time to expand its role into the championship.

SMP are currently backing Sergey Sirotkin to support him as Development Driver for Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, along with his career in the GP2 Series.  Ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 season, Renault confirmed that Frederic Vasseur would leave his role as Team Principal, with this change in management, the bank’s boss Boris Rothenberg confirmed this would not affect their support.

Speculation that the Russian bank would increase its presence in F1 through sponsorship deals, was shot down by Rothenberg, even though they achieved this in IndyCar by backing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and its Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin.

Rothenberg was asked by reporters if SMP’s involvement with F1 would be limited to supporting Sirotkin on a personal level for the foreseeable future, Rochenberg replied, “At the moment, yes.”

There is hopes that the situation might change in the future, Rothenberg told the Ria Novosti news agency this week that “the programme is moving forwards, but as for it growing, only heaven knows.

“For now we can count only on ourselves to build the programme. If specific objectives are set for us then we can think differently, but in the meantime we can rely only on ourselves.”