Russia loses Formula One grand prix as long-term contract is cancelled
The 2022 Russian Grand Prix had already been called off, and now the contract that covered future races has also been torn up.
Formula One officials have ripped up their contract with organisers of the Russian Grand Prix, it was revealed on Thursday. Promoters Rosgonki had a deal that was due to run until 2025, with Saint Petersburg due to replace Sochi as host of the race next year.
However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine last week led F1 chiefs to declare the 2022 race in Sochi had been cancelled. Now it has been confirmed the elite stars of motor racing will not compete in Russia for the foreseeable future.
F1 statement on Russian GP contract
In a widely reported statement, F1 said: "Formula 1 can confirm it has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter, meaning Russia will not have a race in the future."
The news emerged two days after the FIA, motor sport's world governing body, backed F1's decision on the 2022 Sochi race but stopped short of banning Russian drivers from all competitions. The FIA on Tuesday said none of its events should take place in Russia or neighbouring ally country Belarus until further notice, with flags or symbols of either country also banned for now, along with anthems and national colours.
Teams representing Russia and Belarus have been suspended, but the FIA said drivers from those countries will be allowed to participate in motor sport in a neutral capacity – "subject to specific commitment and adherence to the FIA's principles of peace and political neutrality".
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said the governing body was observing events in Ukraine "with sadness and shock", adding that he hoped for "a swift and peaceful resolution". He also spoke of concern for the FIA's Ukrainian members and their current "intolerable hardship".
It remains to be seen whether Haas driver Nikita Mazepin takes part in the new season. The Russian, whose oligarch father Dmitry has links to Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin, has been barred from competing for Haas at the British Grand Prix following measures introduced by Britain's national motorsport authority.