The news is out. Yesterday the McLaren boys livened up Moscow with a spin around the Kremlin, and my good friend Vladimir Makarov literally unfolded his plans for a street circuit. Shown here proudly waving the map under the watchful eye of some of his track marshals.
Personally I prefer keeping these things out of the press until the deal’s been done. Just to be clear: this deal is not done. The race can still go to a purpose built circuit. I couldn’t care less, as long as it’s something with fences around it so people have to pay a lot to get in. Mind you, I’m saying this on behalf of the organiser, since we’ll take the money up front anyway. It’s his job to see if he can wriggle it out of two hundred thousand wallets or so.
Which brings me to the third possibility, that the Moscow race is not going to happen at all. If Vladimir wants to make a fool of himself by announcing something that still has to come true, that’s his business. It only makes my negotiating job easier.
Funny enough, other people who realise this a well as I do, are the Dutch. Apparently the Moscow event is firmly in the hands of Dutch organisers, who seem to have the Russians eating out of their hands. It’s also being sponsored by Bavaria, some filthy Dutch beer brand.
I asked Derk Sauer, the sly old fox who seems to be behind this all, how they got away with having a beer brand sponsoring a major Moscow event with the Russian Government in the middle of a giant anti-alcohol campaign.
You know what Derk said? We’ve told the Russians that beer is a soft drink.
Note to self: keep an eye on those Dutch. They might come in useful.