RUSSIAN TIME will be on the GP2 and GP3 grids, despite the withdrawal of Motopark
Outfit won 2013 GP2 Team's Championship in debut season
By William Esler. Last Updated: 17/02/14 4:15pm
RUSSIAN TIME will be on the GP2 and GP3 grids in 2014, Sky Sports Online has learnt, despite the withdrawal of Motopark support.
The squad was founded by Russian Igor Mazepa when he purchased the assets of iSport International ahead of the 2013 season and formed a partnership with Motopark who operated the team.
In their debut season they achieved the remarkable feat of winning the Teams' Championship and took Briton Sam Bird to runner-up spot in the drivers' standings and the team plan to expand into GP3 this season.
Mazepa passed away at the start of the month and Motopark say they had been renegotiating their contracts with RUSSIAN TIME, but have instead decided to focus on their domestic F3 campaign.
"It had always been the aim of both Igor Mazepa and ourselves to establish Russian Time at the very top of every championship we enter," Motopark Team Principal Timo Rumpfkeil said in a statement on his team's website.
"We showed that we are capable of doing so by winning the GP2 teams' title in our maiden season last year. This was where we should have continued. As this seems no longer possible, the cooperation between my Team Motopark and Russian Time unfortunately has come to an end.
"It's a shame that we cannot continue to show our potential on an international level, too. I feel especially bad for our GP2 driver Tom Dillman and our estimated GP3 drivers Marvin Kirchhoefer, Jimmy Eriksson and Markus Pommer, who are left out in the open and without a driven when they were sure they had their ducks in line for the year.
"Neither them nor our team members who worked hard and tirelessly to make our teams' title possible in 2013 have done anything wrong, and none of them deserves such devastating news."
However, Sky sources say that negotiations with another team to operate RUSSIAN TIME are at an advanced stage and they will compete in both GP2 and GP3 in 2014.
The GP2 season begins in Bahrain on April 4, whilst the GP3 campaign gets underway in Spain on May 9.
You can see every GP2 and GP3 race live on Sky Sports F1 in 2014