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F1 Shows Implicit Support for Vladimir Putin by Holding the Russian Grand Prix

At last year's Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, Russian president Vladimir Putin made a fashionably late entrance, with the television broadcast devoting an unusual amount of time to his arrival and subsequent conference in the grandstand with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and the king of Bahrain. After the race, Putin greeted the top three drivers in the green room and then handed out the winning driver and constructor trophies on the podium, waving to the crowd. In all, he probably had more screen time than the two Mercedes cars at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. Of course, F1 has a long history of burying its head in the sand when it comes to political controversies in countries where it races (South Africa and Bahrain, for example)...

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