Formula 1 has said that the Russian Grand Prix will remain on the calendar for now, despite the invasion of Ukraine.
As new international sanctions were being imposed on Russia, F1 said that it was monitoring the war taking place across the Black Sea from the Sochi circuit. It added that it had nothing more to say on the race, which is scheduled to take place on September 25.
In a statement, the series said: “F1 is closely watching the very fluid developments like many others and at this time has no further comment on the race scheduled for September. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”
Russian Grand Prix organisers have frequently spoken about the positive promotional impact that that race has for Sochi and Russia. On several occasions, president Vladimir Putin has used the race to grandstand, watching the Grand Prix alongside former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and appearing on the podium, where he handed Lewis Hamilton the race-winner’s trophy in 2018.
Russian Haas driver Nikita Mazepin was asked about the situation in yesterday’s press conference — before last night’s invasion — and said he had been told that the race would proceed. “From the understanding we’ve had with Formula 1, the race is going ahead and you will surely see me there,” he told reporters.
However, Mazepin’s future could be affected by sanctions if his father’s Uralkali potash firm, which sponsors Haas, is caught up in new sanctions imposed on Russia.