Formula 1 ‘closely watching’ Russia developments

Henry Valantine
Carlos Sainz leads into the first corner of the 2021 Russian Grand Prix at Sochi. Sochi September 2021.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Formula 1 says it is ‘closely watching’ the situation as it ponders cancelling the Russian Grand Prix.

The race will remain on the calendar for now as the sport looks at the “very fluid” situation, after Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered forces to move across the border into Ukraine on Wednesday night, and explosions were reported around several major cities in the country.

Global leaders have condemned Putin’s actions, with several nations having already taken out sanctions against Russia, with air strikes having already reportedly taken place and Russian tanks said to be moving towards Ukrainian cities.

It goes without saying that Formula 1 will be relatively low on the list of many people’s priorities, but the sport issued an update on the status of the planned race in Sochi nonetheless.

As reported by several news outlets, a statement from Formula 1 reads: “F1 is closely watching the very fluid developments like many others and at this time has no further comment on the race scheduled for September. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”

Prior to this news, Haas driver Nikita Mazepin said he believes his home race will still go ahead in September, given the information he had from the sport at the time.

“Of course,” Mazepin said when asked if the race will be held. “From the understanding we’ve had with Formula 1, the race is going ahead and you will surely see me there.”

 

Haas, title sponsored by Russian fertiliser firm Uralkali, have now reportedly pulled team principal Guenther Steiner out of his scheduled press conference over Thursday lunchtime as well, with questions more than likely to have been centred around the country’s regime instead of what has taken place on track in Barcelona.

The Russian Grand Prix is currently due to be held on the weekend of 23-25 September at the Sochi Autodrom.