Russian GP ‘suspended’ not cancelled, say promoters

Jamie Woodhouse
The The Sochi Autodrom from above. Russia, September 2019.

The Sochi Autodrom, host of the Russian Grand Prix, from above. Russia, September 2019.

Promoters of the Russian Grand Prix believe the 2022 edition could still go ahead following a statement from Formula 1 that suggests the opposite.

The series is currently conducting the final day of a group shakedown in Barcelona ahead of the 2022 campaign, but a critical situation has arisen regarding the Russian Grand Prix and its place on the calendar.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted crisis talks with the team bosses about the 2022 Russian GP, scheduled to take place at the Sochi Autodrom from September 23-25.

Formula 1 released a statement on Friday stating it is “impossible to hold” the Russian Grand Prix “in the current circumstances”.

But while many have interpreted that as a cancellation, Rosgonki, promoters of the Russian Grand Prix, instead claim plans for the event have been “suspended”, so are urging fans not to request refunds, believing Formula 1 could still race in Russia this season.

Russian Grand Prix start from above. September 2021.
The start of the 2021 Russian Grand Prix as pictured from above. September 2021.

“According to the official statement released by Formula 1 on 25/02/2022, due to the current political situation in the world, the FIA have decided to suspend preparations for the Formula 1 World Championship round in Russia, previously scheduled to be held in Sochi in September 2022, because it is impossible to hold it in the current circumstances,” read the statement.

“The agreement between the official Russian Grand Prix promoter ANO ‘ROSGONKI’ and FORMULA 1 is suspended due to force majeure events.

“The purchased tickets are not cancelled – there is no need to get refunds for them now because it is still possible the round will take place and will be held as previously scheduled.

“ANO ‘ROSGONKI’ continues its business as usual, providing services to the Sochi Autodrom guests, as well as organising and holding motorsport and other events of the federal, regional and municipal level as part of the event calendar approved.”

 

The Russian Grand Prix has been allocated the slot of Round 17 in a record 23-race season, although calendar changes have become a fairly common part of the championship in recent years due to the global pandemic that played havoc with Formula 1’s scheduling in 2020 and 2021.