Formula 1 cancels 2022 Russian Grand Prix after Ukraine invasion

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On Friday, Formula 1 said it would not race in Russia this season, saying it was “impossible” to do so after the country launched an invasion on neighboring Ukraine.

The race was scheduled for September 25 at Sochi’s Olympic Park. “We watch the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a speedy and peaceful resolution to the current situation,” the sport said in a statement.

“On Thursday evening, Formula 1, the FIA ​​and the teams discussed the position of our sport, and the conclusion is… that it is impossible to organize the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.

Russia on Thursday launched a full invasion of Ukraine by land, sea and air.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has told a press conference he will not race the Russian Grand Prix if it takes place.

World champion Max Verstappen also said racing in a country at war was “not okay”. American company Haas drove its car in Barcelona on Friday in an all-white livery, after removing any branding representing the title sponsor and Russian potash producer Uralkali.

Team principal Guenther Steiner also acknowledged that Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, whose father owns Uralkali, faces an uncertain future.

Read also : UEFA moves Champions League final from St Petersburg to Paris amid Russia-Ukraine conflict

Earlier on Friday, European football’s governing body UEFA announced it had moved the Champions League final from St Petersburg to Paris. The cancellation of the Russian race brings the Formula 1 calendar down to 22 races from a planned record schedule of 23 rounds.

But the sport, which won 17 races in the pandemic-hit 2020 season and staged 22 races last year, has options it can choose from to fill the spot vacated by Russia, after a a number of venues have held races as replacements for COVID-19. over the past two seasons.

The Russian race made its debut on the calendar in 2014 and was due to move to a new track outside St Petersburg from its current site at Sochi’s Olympic Park next year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has attended the race in the past, even presenting the trophies on the podium. The race’s title sponsor is VTB Group whose VTB bank was hit with sanctions by the United States and Britain following the Russian invasion.

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