Mar 3, 2022: According to a report by AFP, Formula One has removed Russia as a Grand Prix host for good due to the invasion of Ukraine, by terminating its contract with the organisers, the championship promoters announced.
“Formula 1 can confirm it has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter meaning Russia will not have a race in the future,” they said in a statement.
Earlier, German driver and four time champion, Sebastian Vettel said, “For myself, my own opinion is I should not go, I will not go. I think it’s wrong to race in the country,”
Reigning champion Max Verstappenhad also said he would not race their. Among other events stripped from Russia, European football’s governing body UEFA have taken away this year’s Champions League final from Saint Petersburg.
Sochi’s Black Sea Resort has hosted the race since the first race in 2014, but St. Petersburg was to relocate it in 2023. Formula One had already canceled this year’s race due to public unrest among the leading drivers.
On the other hand, former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone — who played a pivotal role in bringing the race to Russia.
“It does not make sense whichever way you look at,” Ecclestone said on Wednesday. “There is no war in Russia to my knowledge so if it took place it would make no difference to anybody.
“This idea of trying to punish Russia this way in a sporting sense is not going to punish (Russian President Vladimir) Putin at all.
“The race would not matter to him.”
The future of American Formula One Team Haas’s Russian driver Nikita Mazpin and title sponsor Uralkali is also shrouded in doubt. Haas dropped the Uralkali branding last Friday during the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Dmitry Mazpin, the father of Nikita Mazpin, is its non-executive director at Uralkali, a group specializing in potash. Mazpin can still drive despite the FIA banning Russian flags and the Russian national anthem.
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