Stefano Domenicali confirms Formula 1 will never return to Russia

Jamie Woodhouse
The Formula 1 flag and Russian GP sign. Russia, September 2019.

The Formula 1 flag flies in front of the Russian Grand Prix sign. Russia, September 2019.

Formula 1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali stated that the sport has no interest in ever returning to compete in Russia.

Since 2014 there had been a Russian Grand Prix held every season, with Mercedes holding a 100% winning record at the Sochi Autodrom.

The 2022 Russian Grand Prix was set to be the final event staged in Sochi, with plans to then move it to Igora Drive in Saint Petersburg from 2023.

However, all of those plans were torn up as Formula 1 cancelled its contract for the Russian Grand Prix in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.



Now, Domenicali has clarified that Formula 1’s exit from Russia is permanent.

“We will not have any more negotiations with them,” Domenicali told Sport Bild, as per Russian news agency TASS. “There will be no more racing there.”

Speaking to TASS, Alexey Titov, the CEO of Russian GP promoter ANO Rosgonki, said that the sporting climate is currently highly political, and though Domenicali’s current stance will be respected, he feels the future of the Russian Grand Prix is “uncertain”, rather than determined.

“The current situation in the world of sports is extremely politicised,” he said. “In view of this context we must accept the statement of Domenicali.

“There was a bold political context in everything he said, and it had nothing to do with the spirit of sports. The future of our relations is unclear today. We will take into account Domenicali’s stance in our future work.”

Titov went on to explain though that from their end, not all links to Formula 1 are over yet.

He would explain that Formula 1 are yet to repay the money which they feel is owed after the cancellation of the 2022 Russian Grand Prix.

“If we speak about our previous work, one fact remains unaltered – it is about the corrupted 2022 Grand Prix in Russia and money was supposed to be transferred back,” Titov continued. “But as of today, the money is not received.

“There is a debt to be paid, it is registered, and our position remains unchanged in this regard.

“We are waiting for the refund of the financial means despite FOM (Formula One Management) current stance in regard to the organisation of races on the territory of Russia.”