Russia's inaugural Formula 1 race planned for Sochi in 2014 could be delayed if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) feels it will hamper preparations for its own winter games that year.
Although Russian GP organisers stated at the end of last year that the 2014 Winter Olympics would not interfere with their preparations, the IOC has made it clear that it has the power to delay the race if it wants to.
Speaking to the media after receiving an update on Sochi's Olympic preparations, IOC executive director Gilbert Felli said that if there was any danger of the F1 event impacting on his games then he would force a postponement.
"It is good to have the F1 grand prix in Russia and Sochi," he was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency. "However, we do not want the facility built for the grand prix to put construction or preparation for the games at risk.
"When we learned the GP could be organised in 2014 we wanted to know if it is an issue. In the contract they [Russian race organisers] signed there is an escape that if the IOC decides it is not feasible then it could be rescheduled in 2015."
When asked who would decide if the F1 race was to be postponed, he said: "It is the IOC."
Russia announced a seven-year deal to host the grand prix from 2014 towards the end of last year, with the country having long been linked with hosting an F1 race.