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Formula 1 terminates contract with Russian Grand Prix

The Russian GP had been due to move to St Petersburg in 2023

Tom Kershaw
Monday 07 March 2022 11:39 GMT
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<p>Vladimir Putin presents the trophy at the Russian Grand Prix in 2017</p>

Vladimir Putin presents the trophy at the Russian Grand Prix in 2017

Formula 1 has confirmed that it has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix amid the continued invasion of Ukraine.

The 2022 race scheduled to take place in Sochi in September had already been cancelled, but Formula 1 has now confirmed there will no longer be a race in 2023 either.

The Russian Grand Prix had been set to move to St Petersburg next year, with Vladimir Putin closely associated with the race and reportedly key in bringing the sport to Russia for the first time in 2014.

“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,” an F1 statement confirmed on Thursday.

Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, have ruled that Russian drivers must compete under a neutral flag this season “subject to specific commitment and adherence to the FIA’s principles of peace and political neutrality”.

Nikita Mazepin is currently the only Russian driver on the F1 grid and there has been increasing speculation over whether he will be dropped by Haas ahead of the upcoming season.

Mazepin’s father, Dmitry, is a Belarusian-Russian oligarch who was pictured with Putin as recently as in January. He is the majority shareholder in chemical manufacturing company Uralchem, who are one of Haas’ major sponsors.

Haas dropped Russian-themed colours and Ulrachem sponsorship from its cars during pre-season testing in Barcelona as Russia’s invasion accelerated.

“It’s something that causes problems, but it doesn’t disturb the team on the competitive side,” said Haas’ team principal Guenther Steiner. “Financially, we are fine. This story will not have repercussions on the team and on this season’s plans. There are more ways to get funding, there is no problem on that front.”

Mazepin has already been barred from competing in the British Grand Prix this season, with the chair of Motorsport UK, David Richards CBE, saying: “We stand united with the people of Ukraine and the motorsport community following the invasion and the unacceptable actions that have unfolded. This is a time for the international motorsport community to act and show support for the people of Ukraine and our colleagues at the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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