Formula 1 has raced in Russia since 2014, with Putin regularly attending the event and handing out the winner’s trophy.

“With you here, we can mark the development of car racing in Russia,” Putin told Todt. “We are conducting not only F1 races but we are also constructing a race centre in St Petersburg. We would like you to give your assessment and recommendations.”

After their discussion, Todt gave Putin a crash helmet with his name on it, which featured the signatures of legendary racing stars – including Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.