Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Sochi Autodrom, 2021

F1 “monitoring the situation” as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine casts doubt on Sochi race

2022 F1 season

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Formula 1 says it is monitoring any potential impact on the Russian Grand Prix following the country’s invasion of its neighbour Ukraine.

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin announced shortly before 6am Moscow time he had begun a “military operation” in eastern Ukraine.

F1 is due to hold the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom, around 500 kilometres south of the scene of the invasion, on September 25th.

The European Union, United States and United Kingdom have all condemned the invasion and have begun introducing sanctions against Russia and individuals linked to Putin. This has prompted speculation over whether the race can go ahead.

“Formula 1 is closely watching the very fluid developments like many others and at this time has no further comment on the race scheduled for September,” a spokesperson for the series confirmed this morning. “We will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”

Sochi held its first round of the world championship in October 2014, eight months after Russia annexed Crimea, which also prompted the imposition of sanctions.

Tickets for the Russian Grand Prix are not currently available for purchase on F1’s official ticketing website. As of last evening this was understood to be due to a technical fault.

September’s race is due to be the last in Sochi before the grand prix is relocated to the Igora Drive circuit outside St Petersburg.

Sanctions against Russia could also have implications for the Haas team, whose title sponsor, Uralkali, is Russian. Nikita Mazepin is the son of Uralkali chief Dmitry Mazepin and the team’s livery races in the colours of the Russian flag.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 57 comments on “F1 “monitoring the situation” as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine casts doubt on Sochi race”

    1. Typical F1.

      Even if things stopped tomorrow, Russia invaded its neighbour. F1 shouldn’t be considering going at all.

      1. “Russia protecting it’s land and people is bad”
        Right.

      2. @regs
        The UK and US invaded Ukraine in 2014? No, I think you’ll find that was Russia.

        Seems like Putin has you believing his every word. Ever tried thinking for yourself? I’d strongly recommend it.

        1. You started of reasonable, but now it has become inane ranting. I think the US has the ‘best’ record of invading countries in my lifetime, and I’m sure there are geopolitical moves all around that the public is not wholly aware of (maybe inciting unrest in the Ukraine was one of them), but that does not for one minute make it right what Russia is doing now, and trying to defend that is foolish. In the end Putin is not the judge of the policies of Ukraine no matter how concerned he is they want to join NATO.
          And seeing all this I’m really afraid round two is not far away, when China decides Taiwan has had enough time to return to the motherland and they’ll go and take it.

        2. @regs
          Wow, you really did go full-on conspiracy theory mode. I say better take off that tinfoil hat of yours – it’s cutting off the air to your brain.
          Or better yet, stop getting all your news and information from RT.

      3. What land are they protecting? They are in Ukraine which last time I checked was not Russia and the people they claim to be protecting are in rebel held areas already invaded by Russia who created a war there 8 years ago for no reason other than petulant Putin.

        There is zero reason for Russia to be invading Ukraine other than an Insecure Putin wanting to shore up support internally due to his popularity shrinking. I mean there have been people arrested in Russia for simply protesting against the invasion!

        At no point did anyone Invade the Ukraine in 2014. The Government was overthrown by a population tired of its corruption and links to Russia. They then democratically elected a pro-European Government. Putin and those in Russia will have no idea what democratic elections look like however. Putin is scared of democracy as it would mean he could be voted out of the position he has practically awarded himself for life.

      4. Also while I am not supporting Saudi-Arabias attacks on Yemen, The UK and US have not been involved and Saudi Arabia are only really reacting to the fact that Iranian backed militias took over the country. Saudi Arabia were supporting the official Government although they have not covered themselves in glory by the way they have gone about it.

      5. Well done, comrade! Putin thanks you for your efforts on his behalf.

      6. Is it still cold in St Petersburg?

    2. #WeRaceAsOne

      1. #WeRaceInOneRussia (covering lots of places other people apparently mistakenly believed to be their own countries)

    3. There is nothing to ‘monitor’ about the situation. I’m usually in favour of the F1 doesn’t play politics argument (e.g. you could level criticism at pretty much every country’s government on the calendar) but it’s disappointing that F1 has come back with such a weak response to a country just plain invading/bombarding another country.
      It’s clear that F1 is going to have it’s hand forced on the matter of cancelling the Russian grand prix, might as well get in early and claim the moral high ground.

      1. Honestly did you (and many others with their comments) even read what you wrote?

        “to a country just plain invading/bombarding another country”

        Uhmm… UK, US, France etc? Not only do western countries do that all the time, they do far worse, kill millions instal weak regimes that leave the regions in tatters. So why is is that F1 races and in those times continued to race in the UK US France China etc etc etc.

        Is it okay for Russia to do and potentially kill innocent people (though they are only currently targeting military compounds), no it’s not really is it .. but don’t try to be so pathetically shirt sighted that you so easily gloss over the facts of the other countries F1 visits.

        Ignorance is bliss I suppose?

        This comment is truly for all that harp on about the same wether it was all the comments on the Saudi or whatever else. Continue with your bliss by all means though…

        1. This comment is nothing more than ‘whataboutism’.

          1. Yours is nothing more than a feeble response, skirting around the edges, completely failing to even understand the point of my original comment. In other words, it’s irrelevant.

            You sound like people responding to valid comments on Abu Dhabi with “cry more” or “Silverstone”

            Don’t worry though, It’s okay that you had no real response, as your comment shows. Perhaps your invoking of “whataboutism” is just an attempt to shake rightful criticism that you have no response to. Unless you do?

            1. Please explain to me then, where have the US, UK or China have invaded and de facto annexed the territory of another independent nation since WWII?
              I’m not sure if it’s plain ignorance or that you have an ulterior motive to be a Russian apologist.
              No country that F1 races in is saintly; but to somehow equate Russia’s actions with those of other countries, when they are clearly unprecedented in the recent past is silly and misguided.

            2. Neutralino,

              Please explain to me then, where have the US, UK or China have invaded and de facto annexed the territory of another independent nation since WWII?

              The USA and the UK are amongst the biggest supporters of a country that have invaded and de facto annexed territory of another sovereign country which is Israel. Israel have been occupying the Golan heights since 1967 which was condemned in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and they have “annexed” it in 1981 against every international law.

              The USA with trump even went too far acknowledging Israel sovereignty over the territory in 2019 while the United Nations insisted that the state of the territory is unchanged. Not to mention the illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

              As for China, they think of Taiwan the same as Putin thinks of Ukraine. They basically claim that it is their territory and with Russia setting a precedent of invading Ukraine, China doing the same to Taiwan is only a matter of time and how well the Russian invasion in Ukraine will proceed. Last month, China’s President Xi Jinping has said “reunification” with Taiwan “must be fulfilled” – and has not ruled out the possible use of force to achieve it.

        2. I am not sure the UK and US have killed millions. Millions have died due to the conflicts in the countries but for instance in Iraq the vast majority of people were killed by Iranian backed rebels who would sweep through towns, slaughtering anyone they came across. In Afganistan, more people are dying now in the country than did in the few years before.

          1. I am not sure the UK and US have killed millions

            Then try to educate yourself about the matter first. The former British prime minister Gordon Brown have admitted that the UK was misled by the USA about the possibility of the Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s access to weapons of mass destruction, and that the war was unjustified. The Iranian rebels wouldn’t have made it without the USA/UK invasion. Besides, what about Vietnam, Balkans, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya…

            1. @tifoso1989 try to educate yourself about the word ‘millions’

            2. When did the USA/UK invade Libya?

            3. Emma,
              The 2011 multi-state NATO-led military intervention and since then the country has experienced two violent civil wars and has been divided geographically between two governments with their own armies and terrorist groups. There was also the 1986 United States bombing of Libya which was condemned in the United Nations General Assembly.

            4. @gardenfella72
              Try to educate yourself about the Gulf war casualties in Iraq and the effect of the American embargo on the Iraqi population and not only limit yourself to what happened during the 2003 Iraqi invasion.

            5. @tifoso1989
              Besides, what about the Russian invasions of Georgia, Moldova, the Central African Republic, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan (in 1979), Czechoslovakia, Eritrea, Angola…

            6. @tifoso1989 repeating something doesn’t make it true, no matter how much you want it to be.

              Your grasp of geopolitics is astounding only in its misconception.

            7. Neutralino,
              Condemnable as every single act of war. I’ve already said in a comment above that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is an act of war towards a sovereign country. I’m no supporter of any side of this war as I know that innocent people are paying with their lives the madness and the babyness of the politicians in charge of both Russia and Ukraine.
              Though, I’m just annoyed by the hypocrisy of those who are calling out Russia ( USA and UK in primis ) for using their own aggressive tactics. They are all in the same bracket for me : war criminals.

            8. Neutralino read tifosos last comment that was exactly my original point. It the hypocrisy of it all, need we say more really?

    4. Good. It’s boring track. I hope it gets dropped.

    5. If F1 wants to come out of this with any credibility, they have to make the decision very soon. Russia has already invaded Ukraine and has started a war. They’ve threatened to attack anyone “instantly” who assists Ukraine…. The time of “fluid developments” and “monitoring the situation” is done.

      If they don’t make the right decision, pressure from governments, sponsors, fans and potentially, drivers will force the race to be cancelled anyway. Time will tell if F1 makes the right decision on their own or if they are forced into it by others and their choice will always be remembered.

      1. @petebaldwin just want to say this is a great comment. spot on.

      2. @petebaldwin Will it always be remembered, though? F1’s return to Bahrain in 2012 raised a few eyebrows at the time, but now nobody bats an eyelid. We even had two races there in 2020 for pandemic-related calendar-stuffing reasons. And before that, F1 continued racing in apartheid South Africa long after virtually all other sports had started their boycotts.

        I suspect Liberty are hoping they can ride this one out, and it will be (primarily) US sanctions and UK/EU travel restrictions that will force their hand into cancelling the Grand Prix.

        1. This is the unfortunate truth. Too many business interests for F1 to pull out in a clean and moral manner. As is the case with most things.

          And I agree that, even in a few months, embargoes and restrictions will prevent International sport taking place there. From Liberty’s perspective it reduces the chances of offending Russian financial backers if a 3rd party prevents the race from taking place.

        2. @red-andy – I think the difference is that Bahrain was an internal issue within the country. Most aren’t going to remember it as a major event in history. That’s not to downplay it or to say it wasn’t bad but it’s not going to live in people’s memory as much as starting a war on European soil will. You didn’t have leaders of the biggest countries talking about Bahrain and it wasn’t front page news in the same way that this is and will continue to be for some time.

          The situation in Bahrain affected people in Bahrain so I guess it’s easy for people to switch off and ignore it to an extent. The situation we’re in now will affect everyone – whether that’s just the cost of living increasing even further or something considerably worse.

      3. At this point I’m dumbfounded and I’d genuinely just like to know and understand why
        yourselves feel so strongly on this? Why it’s then justifiable to then have been (and currently) visiting countries like China, the UK and US? Without even a mention of the possibility of not visiting during times they invaded countries, kil led millions of inoccent people, destroyed regions and life for future generations and installed weak feable puppet regimes that have only lead to present day suffering? Not to mention a holistic geno cide of people from another offender.

        Please explain yourselves.

      4. At this point I’m dumbfounded and I’d genuinely just like to know and understand why
        yourselves feel so strongly on this? Why it’s then justifiable to then have been (and currently) visiting countries like China, the UK and US? Without even a mention of the possibility of not visiting during times they invaded countries, kil led millions of inoccent people, destroyed regions and life for future generations and installed weak feable puppet regimes that have only lead to present day suffering? Not to mention a holistic geno cide of people from another offender.

        Please explain yourselves.

        It’s almost as if people either like to be selective or just happily follow the trend and can’t think for themselves or stand up for what is right unless they can feel supported by similarly like minded whimsical people. Yeah sure

      5. As a Ukrainian, I believe the race will happen anyway. Money talk, and the new Hitler has a lot of money. Russians killed innocent people in MH17, and that didn’t stop the race. European politicians and business don’t care.

        1. @Sviat No choice if all drivers & teams boycotted.

    6. Raise your hands if you believe Mr Putin will suddenly decide to uninvade Ukraine in the next 6 months.

      Hands? Anyone?

      1. I mean, there’s a chance he blitzes the country, replaces it’s government with a pro-Russia puppet government and “uninvades” it within 6 months, sure.

        But should that matter? No. Sanctions won’t be lifted by then and honestly, how can you justify going to Russia at any point in the next few years given what just happened today, no matter how Putin or his controlled media spin it?

        1. At this point I’m dumbfounded and I’d genuinely just like to know and understand why
          yourselves feel so strongly on this? Why it’s then justifiable to then have been (and currently) visiting countries like China, the UK and US?

          Without even a mention of the possibility of not visiting during times they invaded countries, killed millions of inoccent people, destroyed regions and life for future generations and installed weak feable puppet regimes that have only lead to present day suffering? Not to mention a holistic genocide of people from another offender.

          Please explain yourselves. If you somehow can

      2. If F1 boycots Russia I don’t see any other option for Putin than to uninvade Ukraine. But serious maybe something good will come out of this and Mazzespin will be dropped for someone with real talent.

      3. Sorry, no hands. Went to Jeddah and lost them there

    7. No doubt in my mind.
      Cancel it now.
      Send a strong message.

    8. The inconsistency of the FIA never seems to stop. I wonder if they have a code of conduct at all as an organisation. Apparently they lack reference material for their decision making.

    9. It’s simple:

      Cancel. The. Race.

    10. Cancel the race!

    11. Cancel the race. Go race in Istambul instead for rubbing extra salt in Putin’s wounds.

    12. “Formula 1 is closely watching the very fluid developments…”

      Formula 1
      September 1939

    13. Cancel it. Russia is invading a sovereign nation posing no threat to it based on ludicrous false pretences while also threatening literal nuclear warfare on anyone that tries to intervene. This is a new paradigm, not just another fracas. Cancel the race. For good (until Putin is gone).

    14. Completely agree with Vettel. I’m absolutely devastated by this situation. And I don’t hugely care about the parties involved, I’m just furious that it’s got to a position of war.

      If they’re desperate, add Turkey. If not, I’m happy with 22 races.

    15. Coventry Climax
      24th February 2022, 14:35

      @keithcollantine
      @hazelsouthwell
      @ all others at racefans.net

      I’d like to see you take actions against some of the comments being placed here. I’m sure you know exactly which ones I’m talking about.
      And like the FIA, you should take stance now, today, and not ‘monitor the situation’ and have a decision taken for you.

    16. Does Lithuania have a race track? I’d love that.

    17. Yes, please cancel! There should not be an F1 race in the home of a lunatic.

      1. Rules Silverstone out too though

    18. I’m sure F1 will wait until government boycotts force its hand. Then it will be able to invoke ‘force majeure’ clause of contracts and avoid financial penalty. It’s about money, not morality.

      After all, money was the reason the FIA quoted for finishing last year’s Abu Dhabi race the way they did. They said that doing so would encourage more people to watch F1 than finishing the race behind the safety car. As others have said, morality is not their strong point.

    Comments are closed.