Start, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

Formula 1 confirms it will not race in Russia this year

2022 F1 season

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This year’s Russian Grand Prix will not go ahead, Formula 1 has confirmed.

The series has been under pressure to cancel the race, which was due to take place on September 25th, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine yesterday. F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali held a meeting with team principals yesterday.

In a statement on Friday F1 said: “The FIA Formula 1 World Championship visits countries all over the world with a positive vision to unite people, bringing nations together. We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation.

“On Thursday evening Formula 1, the FIA, and the teams discussed the position of our sport, and the conclusion is, including the view of all relevant stakeholders, that it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.”

Formula 2 also indicated its support races at the grand prix will not go ahead.

However shortly afterwards the race promoter Rosgonki issued a response claiming the cancellation of the race was not definitive.

“According to the official statement released by Formula 1 on 25/02/2022, due to the current political situation in the world, the FIA has 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.

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

Rosgonki told fans not to seek refunds on tickets they had purchased at this stage. “The purchased tickets are not cancelled,” it said. “There is no need to get refunds for them now because it is still possible that the round will take place and will be held as previously scheduled.”

McLaren said on social media it “is in full support of F1 and the FIA’s decision to remove the 2022 Russian Grand Prix from the 2022 race calendar.”

Team principal Andreas Seidl said they expressed their opposition to racing in Sochi during yesterday’s meeting. “We as McLaren made our position clear that, from our point of view, the Russian Grand Prix is untenable under the current circumstances,” he said.

This year’s Russian Grand Prix was due to be the last at Sochi Autodrom before the event moved to the Igora Drive circuit outside St Petersburg.

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  • 71 comments on “Formula 1 confirms it will not race in Russia this year”

      1. Indeed. I hoped they would do this but I was not convinced they had the guts. Thankfully I think the Teams twisted their arm.

        1. Coventry Climax
          25th February 2022, 16:00

          And the calls of some prime ministers from around the world.

          And could it be that FIA tells us it’s cancelled, yet tells the invaders it might still go ahead? According to Rosgonki it’s not done and dusted yet. I’m having a hard time choosing between who tells the truth these days, the FIA or Putins men. Probably neither?

    1. You love to see it.

    2. Bye bye Putin, see you never.

    3. With the Champions League Final also being moved to Paris, Formula One really had no choice.
      But, at least they have.

    4. Glad to be rid of Russia.
      Glad to be rid of Putin.
      Glad to be rid of the weekend of scraping and bowing for despots, dictators and war criminals.
      Glad to be rid of Sochi.

      1. @hahostolze

        All this said, and racefans readers rated Russia as the best race last year :D

        That said, the races usually are not that interesting.

        1. Yes, there were exceptional circumstances making last year interesting: 3 drivers in good cars starting from the back, although bottas wasn’t then impressive, and rain in the last few laps, which caused chaos and changed the course of the race, plus hamilton being fairly behind at first, which meant interesting battles at the front for most of the race.

        2. It had nothing to do with the track though. It was the weather and the various championship battles that made Sochi 2021 a good race. I am so glad we can finally rid ourselves of this event but the circumstances are terrible. Hopefully Putin’s war does not further disrupt the calendar. It would be a shame to just come out of covid to fight a war in eastern Europe because Putin is losing his mind.

    5. “…it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.”

      Quite pathetic really.

      1. @sonnycrockett You make it believe that there should never be a Russian Grand Prix in any circumstance, but that may not be what you mean.

        1. @matthijs I wouldn’t go that far. If Russia is a stable democracy in 50 years time, then we can consider running F1 there again.

      2. @sunnycrockett Absolutely agreed. It’s such a weak statement. Just grow a pair and tell the Russians not this year and never again.

      3. It is. the race isnt until September. by then Ukraine will be peaceful, but with a new government in place. They never cancelled the US grand prix for the fake premise invasion of Iraq (no WMDs) after Saudi Arabian’s bombed the twin towers.
        and they wont ban the Saudi grand prix even now.

        1. While I opposed the Iraq invasion, attacking and destroying a peaceful democracy is still something else.

        2. Although there are some commonalities between the two invasions they are not close to being the same. It is however possible to convince yourself they are if you really want to feel that way about it. This is an aggressive invasion against a peaceful country with no pretext whatsoever.

        3. The US had EVERY RIGHT to go in and search due to agreements in place. And, suffering a broken agreement, the US had EVERY LEGAL RIGHT to, well, do what they attempted to do. Iraq made agreements with potential invasion as the result of breaking said agreements, then they broke those agreements.

          Was it “right” or “fair” or whatever? Doesn’t even matter because Iraq agreed to it.

    6. The only decision that could have been made and which probably should have been made and announced yesterday.
      Kudos to Seb and Max for calling it out yesterday

    7. But we keep racing in Azerbaijan, China, Saudi Arabia, etc.

      1. Perhaps you should look up the phrase “false equivalences”.

    8. Thank you, Formula 1. It does nothing for fighting in the streets of my city at the moment, but we’ll take any public condemnation of Russia we can get, so that the end of this nightmare is a small step closer.

      1. I wish you well. Stay safe and I hope Russia get a very bloody nose over this. I am ashamed that we (UK) along with other countries did not do something sooner and prevent this from happening. Ukraine does not deserve this. Putin deserves to be thrown out of power and locked up for the rest of eternity.

        1. Yes, agree completely. They should have stopped the first time they invaded in 2014… 8 years too late!

        2. Have you not got better things to be getting on with Vladimir? Like arresting innocent citizens for protesting?

        3. Russian bot alert. Whoop whoop.

      2. @leftie Wishing you well too. I’m sure the vast majority of those looking on are with the Ukrainians in spirit. Many of us will be pressing our governments as hard as we can for them to apply measures that help bring peace and security to your country as quickly as possible, though already too late for some.

      3. I wish you, your friends, family, neighbours and whole country all the luck you will sadly need at this point @leftie.

        Must say that I am happy how many people and how many private companies over where I live have started offering solid amounts of money, supplies, space to live for any refugees etc. including the national railways preparing whole trains (together with Poland) to bring citizens back to Ukraine and on the way back take those who need shelter in a safe place in (without any fares), all telecom companies offering free calling to Ukraine etc.

        I hope the munitions and other supplies our government promised will arrive soon to help withstand the onslaught. Many millions are being amazed at the courage your people are already showing us.

        1. Thank you. We are holding on. It was a tough night. Time moves very slowly during war.

    9. Fully expected & I reckon Istanbul Park will eventually become the replacement.

    10. Well done F1. I was expecting them to take a lot longer over this.

      1. @petebaldwin
        Maybe the developments related to the harshest ever sanctions issued by the USA, UK and the EU to Russia have accelerated the F1 decision. Even if a GP will be held, with the current sanctions the promoters will not be able to pay F1. Not to mention that today, Russia has closed its airspace to the UK as a response.

    11. The right move.

      Also gleeful we won’t have to endure Sochi again.

      Doubt Igora Drive will happen, either.

    12. Those last few words “in the current circumstances” concern me. They should have been clearer and said as long as Putin is in charge and Russia is a threat.

      It leaves the door open for them to quickly change their minds and take the $$$!!

      1. Exactly, it’s such a weak statement from F1.

      2. They even said this:

        Rosgonki told fans not to seek refunds on tickets they had purchased at this stage. “The purchased tickets are not cancelled,” it said. “There is no need to get refunds for them now because it is still possible that the round will take place and will be held as previously scheduled.”

        That’s as clearcut as it gets, they may very well race there by the time september comes, even though they could ofc replace it with instanbul.

        1. I think that’s probably the reason for the “in the current circumstances”: It leaves some wiggle room.

          I mean, if Russia was to back down tomorrow, withdrawing all its troops, and all the sanctions were dropped, I reckon the race would go ahead. If the FIA had just said it was cancelled without that wiggle room, Rosgonki could probably sue for breach of contract, if they weren’t already bacnkrupt from having to refund everyone. It’s all fairly understandable from a business perspective, as icky as it feels from an ethical point of view.

        2. To be honest @esploratore, it could just as well be they wrote that sentence because of the simple fact that they won’t be ABLE to refund since they won’t be able to send any USD/GBP/EUR etc to anyone anywhere by now.

          That the russians keep saying “everything may have calmed down by then” is logical, that is what their leader is saying will be the case. And as for the FIA/Liberty, It could just as well be contractual reasoning being behind the wording (so they won’t be the ones breaching a contract legally) @drmouse.

          Not that I don’t think the FIA/Liberty wouldn’t go ahead with the race if by the time they WERE able to, but I seriously doubt they will be.

    13. Great, but also not great.

      It’s such a weak statement from F1. Including the apologetic “in the current circumstances“. Tell them it’s cancelled and will be replaced with another venue and that the current contract for Russian GPs is null and void.

      1. +1 – the words being used are suspended. No just cancel it and find another track to race at that weekend, if possible.

    14. Vettel called it first, I was going to suggest drivers boycot it.. But this works aswell and in a better way.

      I wonder what Bernie would have done.

      1. @jureo ‘asked for extra cash’ springs to mind as an answer

        1. @david-br
          Indeed :) He is a big Putin fan and likes Hitler for his attitude of getting the job done.

          1. Not to forget that his partner in crime (Max Mosely) whose father was best friends with Hitler…

    15. But where is the condemnation? And what does “in the current circumstances” mean? Tomorrow if Russia annexes the whole country and there is “peace”, will you go and race?

      1. Oh for Christ’s sake, they wont anex the whole country. they will put in a new pro Russian government so that Ukraine never gets NATO membership (as Gorbachev was promised when the Soviet Union fell), and then the US and NATO can’t put bases on Russia’s border as they have been pushing for. Some non ethnic Ukraine parts will be anexed, as they should have been after the Soviet Union fell. I’m not happy US has a base in Poland, they keep creeping closer to Russia, that is why this is all happening.

        1. They will at the very least annex regions in the eastern Ukraine, to secure their Krim annexation. And installing a puppet regime isnt much better than annexing the country as a whole.
          Nato has never pushed for bases in the Ukraine. Prior to the annexation of the Krim they didnt even have significant troops stationed east of Germany. And even afterwords Nato had ~ 4.500 soldiers stationed in the baltic and ~ 7.000 in Poland.
          Hardly a force to threaten Russia.

        2. Are you Russian by any chance? So removing a democratically elected government of a neighbouring state is all fine with you is it? Then we all carry on as before.

          Are we supposed to feel sorry for Russia over NATO? A country with probably the second or third largest armed forces in the world? Even some of Russia’s own people don’t think their actions are justified.

        3. Aaah, it’s the big bad NATO card. That organisation that would have been totally unnecessary if the soviets hadn’t pushed totalitarian communism as the great welfare state, and immediately started pouring troops in to defend the system from the people it was supposed to help. Poland, Hungary and Czecoslovakia joined NATO to stop russians from killing their citizens. Russia is now proving again that every state that wants to join NATO has a very good reason to do so.

        4. NATO is a defence organisation that has never threatened Russia. The only person that is a threat to Russia right now is Putin and his unhinged mind. He lies, he makes up strange fantasy stories and has contempt for ordinary Russians. I hope this all backfires on him in a big way. I have a feeling he is being played by China who at the end of all this want most of Russian territory returned to them as they feel they were tricked into giving it away in the first place. Russia will be forced into Chinas sphere of influence will be reliant on Chinese money and will eventually have to give Siberia back…

          1. Well written Lee1. By the way, Russian Oil is currently trading at a negative price on the world markets. And China has said it will not (for now) be buying any Russian oil either given all the current risks involved in such a transaction.

    16. Phew ! I was afraid I would have to be even more ashamed of watching F1. I’d suggest Saudi Arabia next, but I am not trying to draw any equivalence.

    17. The good thing in having too many races in a season is that it is much easier to drop one !

    18. It has always made me cringe to see the winner of the Russian GP shake hands with Putin. It might not seem much and I am sure he will not lose sleep about it, but actually Putin is quite into sport and has made it a part of his persona, so seeing sport events go away will probably sting a little.

      1. Ah, that’s interesting to hear, didn’t know.

      2. In fact I think that is more important to him than sanctions. His weak mind holds massive pride for any international event he can stage and put his stupid moron face to. It is a huge insult to his fragile ego to take these events away from him. Sanctions will not bother him as he will just keep taking what he wants from the Russian people who are the ones who will suffer. If they complain they will simply be locked up in prison or have their families threatened.

      3. I do remember Putin “testing” an F1 car with Renault after the Sochi race deal was done, and it was indeed reported as one of his photo-ops that he used to cultivate his hyper-masculine image.

        I put “testing” in quotation marks as I suspect in this case, the car tested him…

    19. Yeah, Erdogan is a nice guy….. And what to think about racing, in China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar?

      1. Erdogan is a xenophobic dictator, and I am disgusted that F1 races in China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and refuse to watch the races or even take notice of the results.

        What is your point?

        1. I assume he was agreeing with you and applying some sarcasm to the statement about erdogan. I also wish that F1 didn’t race in China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, or Azerbaijan but F1 makes a ton of money from these governments trying to whitewash their reputations. Considering F1 only made $68M last year it doesn’t look like the sport would remain in the black without these events.

          Fees:
          Bahrain $45M
          Saudi $55M
          Azerbaijan $55M
          China $50M
          Abu Dhabi $40M
          Qatar $55M
          Russia was paying $50M

          The top paying non-corrupt country was paying $35M (Australia) and the average of non-corrupt countries is closer to $28M. So these 7 propaganda races above would pay as much as the rest of the calendar!

          1. Yeah, @ryanoceros @tambeau, I agree with you guys that we cannot be happy with F1 taking money from these Governments.

          2. F1 was £68M in the black for 2021 rather than $68M.

    20. Great! Now can we replace it with another Portuguese Grand Prix?

      1. +1, great idea, better than Turkey!

        1. I originally thought of Turkey as a replacement, but would much prefer Portimão

    21. Unless Russia, very quickly, makes a complete exit from Ukraine, this should be followed by an F1 Ban of AT LEAST 10 years.

    22. Good to see common sense. Vlad and Bernie not giving each other hand jobs as in days gone by.

    23. Yeah don’t race there at least until Mad Putin is gone.

    24. Shame to Putin, shame to his perverse cabinet. I hope they will face international tribunal for this in the near future.

    Comments are closed.