‘My decision is already made’: Sebastian Vettel to boycott Russian Grand Prix over Ukraine crisis

Formula 1 have confirmed they are ‘closely watching’ the situation but stopped short of calling off or moving the race, set for 25 September in Sochi

Sports Staff
Thursday 24 February 2022 12:52
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<p>Vettel won’t race in Russia </p>

Vettel won’t race in Russia

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Sebastian Vettel will boycott the Russian Grand Prix later this year in the wake of the escalating crisis in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin confirmed the start of a military operation in Ukraine early on Thursday morning as the situation in the region continues to worsen.

The escalation in hostilities has been roundly condemned internationally with a number countries, including the UK, imposing sanctions with more set to follow.

Formula 1 have confirmed they are "closely watching" the situation but stopped short of calling off or moving the race, set for 25 September in Sochi.

Vettel though confirmed he won't be racing regardless of whether the Grand Prix goes ahead as planned or not.

“It’s horrible to see what is happening," he said. "My own opinion is I should not go. I will not go. I think it’s wrong to race in the country.”

Vettel shared a podium with Putin in Russia back in 2018 but has called the president "mad" over his decision to press on with the invasion.

“I’m sorry for the people you know, innocent people that are losing their lives that are getting killed for stupid reasons and a very, very strange and mad leadership,” he added.

“Personally, I’m just so shocked and sad to see what’s what’s going on. So, we will see going forward, but I think my decision is already made.”

Vettel's opinion was echoed in Barcelona at pre-season testing by world champion Max Verstappen, who added: “We shouldn’t race in a country that’s at war.”

Uefa are in talks to move the Champions League final away from St Petersburg in May while the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifier between Russia and Sweden is firmly in doubt.

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