Formula One has cancelled the Russian Grand Prix after the state’s invasion of Ukraine. The sport did not issue any condemnation of Russia but cited the “impossibility” of holding the race under the current circumstances.
The meeting was set to take place on 25 September and Turkey has been discussed as a potential replacement but F1 is not yet understood to be considering the Istanbul Park Circuit as an option at this time. However, it has been used twice in the last two years, stepping in for races cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.
On Thursday evening F1’s CEO Stefano Domenicali held a meeting with the team principals and the FIA to discuss the Russian GP, with clear, widespread opinion that the sport could not go to Russia while it engaged in an invasion of Ukraine. Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner had described the idea of going to Russia as simply untenable and the world champion Max Verstappen had decried the idea of going racing in a country that had declared war on a neighbouring state. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel was the first driver to declare he would boycott the race if it went ahead.
A statement from F1 read: “The FIA Formula 1 World Championship visits countries all over the world with a positive vision to unite people, bringing nations together. 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 One, 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.”
On Friday Uefa dropped Russia as host of the Champions League final in St Petersburg, replacing it with the Stade de France in Paris.
The teams are completing the third and final day of their first test in Barcelona on Friday, where the Haas team removed the Russian flag-based livery of its title…