F1 has stated that the Russian GP scheduled to take place in September is currently “impossible to hold”, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Written By Hugh Waring, Edited by Aiden Hover
Following F1’s statement that they will be monitoring the arising developments between Russia and Ukraine, the outbreak of war had led to Formula 1 holding talks on Thursday evening with all team bosses and F1 CEO Stefano Dominicali.
“The FIA Formula 1 World Championship visits countries all over the world with a positive vision to unite people, bringing nations together,” the statement reads.
“We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation.
“On Thursday evening Formula 1, the FIA, and the teams discussed the position of our sport, and the conclusion is, including the view of all relevant stakeholders, that it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.”
Putin’s so-called ‘military operations’, which western allies call an invasion, have also impacted major sporting events. UEFA, on Thursday evening, confirmed the relocation of the Champions League final, set to be held in St Petersburg. F1 have followed suit with the cancellation of the Russian GP.
The 4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, also on Thursday, pledged to boycott the Russian Grand Prix if F1 would not cancel it. As well as the 2021 World Champion, Max Verstappen quoted that it was “not correct” to race in Russia whilst there is a war going on.
Vettel also added, “Obviously if you look at the calendar, we have a race scheduled in Russia. For myself, my own opinion is I should not go, I will not go.
“I think it’s wrong to race in that country. I’m sorry for the people, innocent people who are losing their lives, getting killed for stupid reasons under a very strange and mad leadership.”
Following western sanctions, the Russian GP's main sponsor, VTB has had its assets frozen in the UK. The sanctions may also hinder the Haas F1 team’s main title sponsor, Russian company Uralkali. This has led to Haas removing its Uralkali branding for the final day of the Barcelona shakedown.
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