Despite the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, organizers of the upcoming Russian Grand Prix say that the inaugural event at Sochi will go on as planned.
According to the Associated Press, race organizers have issued a statement that all preparations for the Oct. 12 event remain ongoing, adding “organizers are confident that the inaugural Russian Grand Prix will be comfortable for all.”
Thursday’s disaster, however, figures to raise a significant degree of doubt about the race’s true status.
The Sochi Autodrom, which will host the race near the city’s Olympic Park, is situated around 335 miles from where MH17 went down. All 298 people aboard the flight were killed.
It bears noting that back in May, the political crisis between Russia and Ukraine caused FIA president Jean Todt and race organizers to insist that the event would not be postponed.
Earlier in April, said unrest helped lead the FIM to cancel the Russian round of this year’s World Superbike Championship season. That race was to have taken place at Moscow Raceway in September.