Formula 1 will not be going back to Russia anytime soon. The FIA decided to terminate the contract with the Eastern European country promoter after it started war in Ukraine.
The FIA announced the cancelation of the Russian Grand Prix in September 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Back then, the reps of the forum stated that it would be “impossible to hold the race in the current circumstances.” But the message seemed unclear and left room for possible changes along the way.
Now the FIA made it clear. Formula 1 will not return to Russia anytime soon. The Russian Grand Prix was set to take place at the Sochi Autodrome, before moving to St. Peterburg in 2023. President Vladimir Putin has handed out trophies on the podium in 2014 and 2015. According to BBC, Putin has a palace-like home in Sochi.
The Russian racetrack has been hosting F1 races since 2014. That was when former CEO of the sport, Bernie Ecclestone, signed a deal with President Vladimir Putin, the man who ordered the invasion of Ukraine last week. At the time, the teams were covering the pre-season testing in Barcelona. Sebastian Vettel was the first to take a stand. The German driver said that he would not compete in Russia. Max Verstappen followed suit.
The fate of Haas F1 driver Nikita Mazepin is currently in doubt. Considering that Motorsport UK announced that no Russian-licensed drivers will compete in the UK, the Russian driver would not be able to start in the British Grand Prix in July at Silverstone. He is currently facing ban from the sport. His team decided to take down all sponsorship branding of the Russian company Uralkali.
Russians banned from various events
Formula 1 is not the only sport punishing Russia for the war that started in Ukraine. The UEFA Champions League that was scheduled to take place this fall in St. Petersburg has been moved to Paris, France.
Furthermore, the International Paralympic Committee decided to ban the Russian and Belarussian athletes from competing at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.