F1 teams will meet tonight to discuss future of Russian GP after Ukraine invasion

2022 F1 season

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Formula 1 teams will meet this evening to discuss whether the Russian Grand Prix should go ahead in September following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Team bosses confirmed the development after Sebastian Vettel called on F1 to cancel the race after Russian troops moved into the Eastern European country overnight. Other drivers also expressed concerns over the event in today’s press conference while Pierre Gasly expressed sympathy for the people of Ukraine on social media.

Speaking in an FIA press conference at Circuit de Catalunya today, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said “it’s an awful situation, I think it’s very sad.”

“At the moment what we can do is only to wait and see and hope for the better,” he continued. “From now until the race in September, there is time and my wish is that somehow everything will stop very soon.”

Other sports promoters are under pressure to cancel events in Russia. Reports claim UEFA will announce tomorrow the Champions League final, scheduled to take place in St Petersburg in June, will be relocated.

“F1 is trying to manage the situation,” Binotto continued. “We will have a meeting between us tonight to try to understand what’s the situation and how to manage it.

“F1 in that situation is not the most important one. What’s happening there is. It’s very sad.

“At the moment we can only try to, not stand by, but certainly try to have between us the discussion and understand all the implications and what is the right choice for the future. But F1 in that situation is not the most important one, what’s most important is what’s happening there, which, as I said, is very sad.”

The team principals are to discuss the situation with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, who called the meeting.

Williams CEO Jost Capito indicated he shares Binotto’s view. “It shows us when we look in the mirror that Formula 1 is not the most important [thing] in the world,” he said. “There are bigger issues than Formula 1.

“We think about the performance of our cars [while] other people are scared to lose their lives. I think we have to have this in mind and I think we’re all aligned on this.

“What happens in the future? We have a very good relationship with FOM and with the FIA – these are the governing bodies and they aware about the situation, they are on top of it and they will take a proper and the right decision for all of us.”

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner was due to participate in the press conference, but this was later cancelled as he was “no longer available”, according to the FIA. The only Russian driver in F1, Nikita Mazepin, drives for Haas, and the team’s title sponsor is his father’s company Uralkali.

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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25 comments on “F1 teams will meet tonight to discuss future of Russian GP after Ukraine invasion”

  1. F1 teams are making a joke of themselves by putting on this show. Everyone knows that one team is funded by a Russian Oligarch, runs his son as one of their drivers, and is carrying the Russian flag as their livery.

    Even if everyone else were to agree on something more substantial than ‘war is bad’, there at least one team that will scupper any attempt at a real response.

    1. In all likelihood the powers that be will force the cancellation. Not sure why F1 did not just get in there and at least say they will do all they can to cancel it and are looking into how to achieve this. Instead it feels they have their fingers crossed that it can still happen. It will look like they will cancel it if forced to, it lacks sincerity. It will be cancelled anyway so might as well come out looking as if it’s their decision. Same with Vettel, calculated risk as likely cancelled anyway. He looks great. Alonso sat on the fence came across in a not so good light.

  2. There’s simply no excuse for this race or any other international event to go ahead in Russia anymore. As much as it sucks for the Russian people but as long as that person remains in charge, the country needs to be ostracised by the civilised world.

    1. This situation kills the whole argument that “racing in places with poor human rights is ok, because we may have a positive cultural impact.” Well clearly not. Any idiot knows that those in charge couldn’t care less about the point of view of the drivers that visit once a year. Formula 1 needs to step up and take a stand.

  3. Steiner’s press conference withdrawal is wholly understandable as he would’ve most certainly faced solely one-sided questions just because he happens to be a certain team’s TP.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      24th February 2022, 15:37

      Yeah I agree. He’d get questions thrown at him that he wouldn’t be able to answer. I’m sure he has strong opinions on what is going on now but if he says anything anti-Russian and he loses Uralkali over it, he could cost a lot of people their jobs.

      It’s fine for someone like Vettel to speak their mind (and I commend him for doing so) but he’s not responsible for a large team of people and isn’t working for a company financed by Russians.

      1. I think Haas will drop Mazepin and the Russian flag livery

        F1 is a marketing tool and the last thing Gene Haas would want is his Brand and indeed his own name displayed on a car draped in the Flag of a country that has just started an invasion of another country.

        It’s going to be more amaging to his company’s reputation than if he wasn’t in F1 at all.

        1. Half right– they’ve dropped the flag and the sponsor name for now, but Mazepin is still driving.

  4. Bunch of hypocrites.
    What about Saudi strikes against Yemeni civilians and US bombing Somalian?

    1. @ruliemaulana
      Typical whataboutism.
      Please explain where in either of those cases has there been a de facto annexation of territory and a recognition of separatist ‘republics’.
      I’ll wait.

      1. @ruliemaulana
        I asked for an explanation, and you couldn’t provide it. Coward.

      2. Whataboutism or whataboutery (as in “what about…?”) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy, which attempts to discredit an opponent’s position by charging hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving the argument.

        From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

        It’s not a made-up word (any more than language is fluid), and it’s almost 50 years old. And it is exactly the type of fallacy you are engaged in.

    2. Those are very different situations.

      In Yemen, Iran is waging a proxy war against Saudi Allies.
      In Somalia, the US was in there to protect aid workers with the permission of the UN (as it was a UN humanitarian operation). Rebel groups however disregarded any ceasefire and attacked kept attacking aid convoys so the US troops responded.

      In Ukraine a country that has been doing zero to attack Russia and has in fact been fighting a war to regain areas already occupied by Russia is now being fully invaded for no other reason than an ego trip for Putin.

  5. Let’s go Andretti-Haas 2022 with Colton Herta to replace Mazepin! One can dream :)

    1. The only thing that would make this better is if the deal could be finalized for the new livery reveal in Miami.

    2. Good idea. Lets start a petition.

  6. Cancel the race!

  7. I suggest to switch from Sochi to St. Petersburg…..in USA!!!

  8. This is not a wait and see situation, hopefully F1 will act swiftly

  9. This is a disgrace. This isn’t something you “discuss”. You simply announce the race won’t be taking place. Nobody has any balls anymore. Putin will take what he wants and the Chinese are watching the west’s reaction.

  10. Oh no! Not the beloved Russian GP! Anything but that!

  11. Let me guess: The FIA is going to launch an inquiry, refuse to publish the findings, and then find a job for Russia somewhere in the organisation?

    1. Prescient !!

  12. An excellent idea. Do not race in any country whose armed forces are involved in offensive military operations.

    That would leave us with, let’s see, um, err, Spain and Mexico?

  13. I believe the decision has been made and ticket sales have been stopped.

Comments are closed.