The Russian Grand Prix has been dropped from Formula One‘s schedule. The announcement comes six days after the event, which was scheduled to take place in Sochi on September 25, was canceled.
Only in June, F1 officials confirm that the Russian round would be relocated to Igora Drive, 40 miles north of St Petersburg, beginning in 2023. However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the sport has decided to cancel the race entirely.
Formula One and Russian Grand Prix
A statement read: “Formula One can confirm it has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter meaning Russia will not race in the future.”
Russian-licensed drivers have been barred from competing in the United Kingdom, according to Motorsport UK. It means that Nikita Mazepin, the only Russian driver on the F1 grid, will be unable to compete in the British Grand Prix in July.
Mazepin’s immediate future in Formula One is in jeopardy. Haas’ title sponsor, Uralkali, is part-owned by his father, tycoon Dmitry Mazepin. For the final day of testing in Barcelona last week, Haas deleted the Russian fertilizer company’s branding. The FIA, the sport’s governing body, will nevertheless allow Russian drivers to compete, although under a neutral flag.
Word from Ecclestone
After former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone signed a lucrative arrangement with Vladimir Putin in 2014, the Russian round was added to the schedule. In an interview with the PA news agency, Ecclestone, 91, endorsed the FIA’s stance on Russian drivers.
Ecclestone said, who ran F1 for four decades: “It was the right decision by the FIA. There are so many things being agreed upon by the world about this conflict between Russia and Ukraine. But I don’t think anybody has thought it through or got their heads around it.”
“If there is a Russian driver in F1, what does it have to do with Russia fighting a war? There is no relationship there. The Russian athletes have nothing to do with this conflict. They are not part of it, and they have never been part of it. They just happen to be Russian.”