F1 terminates its contract with the Russian Grand Prix

Sam Cooper
Fans at the Russian Grand Prix Sochi Autodrom watching a Ferrari. Sochi September 2021

Fans at the Sochi Autodrom watching the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc being chased by a Red Bull. Sochi September 2021

Formula 1 has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine last week.

Russia president Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to move into Ukraine on February 24 and was met with international condemnation.

In F1, Sebastian Vettel led the way by declaring he would not race in the country while Max Verstappen said “when a country is at war, it is not right to race there.”

After growing criticism, F1 announced the race, which was due to take place in September, would be removed from the 2022 calendar.

Following the confirmation, other drivers said they would not have wanted to race there.

“No, I would not have wanted to go,” Lando Norris said, as reported by the Guardian.

“Out of pure respect for what’s going on. There is no reason we should be able to live our lives normally and go and have a normal race in a country where those things are going on.

“Alongside Pierre [Gasly] and Seb [Vettel] and many other drivers, I would not want to go.”

Vladimir Putin has often been on the podium to give the winner his trophy

Now the sport’s organiser have gone one step further by terminating its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter, meaning there will be no races in the country for years to come.

“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,” the statement read.

The Russian Grand Prix was introduced to the calendar in 2014 after years of campaigning, including vocal support from Putin himself.

 

Having raced in Sochi, where Putin owns a palace, the event was due to be moved to Putin’s birthplace St Petersburg in 2023.

Putin has often been pictured on the podium handing the trophy to the winner. There have been seven races held at the Sochi Autodrom and all have been won by a Mercedes driver.

Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver having won five events while his former team-mate Valterri Bottas was victorious in 2017 and 2020.

 

Portimao want Russia’s Grand Prix spot

Portimao circuit bosses are in talks to replace the Russian GP.