Following Russia’s expanded invasion of Ukraine and growing criticism, Formula 1 has announced that, at least for now, it won’t be holding the 2022 Russian Grand Prix. We say “for now” because of this part of the organization’s official statement:
“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.”
That seems to leave open the possibility that a Russian Grand Prix could happen if the situation in Ukraine changes.
Formula 1’s withdrawal from Russia is the latest in criticism from all around the sport on the nation’s decision to attack Ukraine. Before the withdrawal, four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel said he wouldn’t race in Russia. Last year’s champion, Max Verstappen, also voiced criticism of Russia and said the series shouldn’t go there this year. The Haas F1 team, which is sponsored by Russian-based Uralkali, has removed the company’s branding and any Russia-related stickers from its cars. One of the team’s drivers, Nikita Mazepin, is the son of the man in charge of Uralchem, Uralkali’s parent company. Mazepin will still be driving for Haas at the time of writing.