Niki Lauda is taking a step back from his full-time duties as the lead pundit for German television.
The Formula 1 legend has held the RTL microphone for years but the broadcaster admitted at Sochi that it has agreed that Lauda will no longer appear on screen at every grand prix.
"As chairman of the Mercedes team, in turbulent times for Formula 1, he is released from the obligation to accompany RTL at each race," RTL said in a statement.
Already at Sochi, the stand-in for Lauda - former Toyota driver Timo Glock - began work as a new expert pundit.
"In Timo Glock we have obtained a first-rate addition to our motor sport team," said RTL sports chief Manfred Loppe.
"It is important for us and the spectators that this year and next, Niki is still available with a few exceptions as our number one expert."
The Russian Grand Prix gets underway at 1pm BST.