According to former Russian F1 driver Vitaly Petrov, no world title is valid without Russia as one of the possible participants, including Max Verstappen’s F1 title.
“I don’t consider any champion or Olympic title legitimate without Russia,” Petrov replied when asked by Russia’s ‘Sport-Express’ whether he thinks the winner of the Dakar Rally without Russian participants is legitimate.
“Certainly the Dakar Rally, how many times have our compatriots won there! We have no less than 19 victories!”
“I’m not just talking about the Dakar though, I’m talking about all sports. We have to stop being afraid and get Russia back into the world of sports.”
According to Petrov, Russia must now invest massively in its athletes so that they are prepared before the restrictions are lifted.
“It is very unfortunate the situation Russian motorsport is in now,” said Petrov. “However, when we talk about motorsport in general, when the strongest drivers within Russia compete against each other, we will see an increase in the level of racing due to the internal competition.”
“The drivers will try different racing classes, there will be a new car, a new audience. We can use this situation as a springboard for the development of motorsport. We have to train young riders for the future. In the end, that isolation will not last forever.”