F1 Russian Grand Prix: Formula 1 discuss Ukraine invasion, ticket sales decision, what Sebastian Vettel said
Formula 1 faces mounting pressure to relocate Sochi Grand Prix with Sebastian Vettel saying he will not compete in Russia
Russia has been part of the Formula 1 Grand Prix Calendar since 2014 following the annexation of Crimea.
After months of rising tension, Vladimir Putin ordered troops to invade Ukraine on Thursday 24 February 2022 with the world fearing World War Three is not too far away.
Despite sanctions that the UK and other countries had put on Russia in support of Ukraine, Putin announced a ‘special military operation’ in the Donbas region of Ukraine.
As Putin delivered the announcement on live television, reports of explosions in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv as well as other parts of the country soon came through.
The UEFA Champions League final is currently scheduled to take place at the Gazprom Stadium, St Petersburg Russia on Saturday 28 May but with the current situation escalating, UEFA will have no choice but to move the final to another European city.
The Champions League will not be the only event to face a location change as there are current doubts as to whether the Russian Grand Prix will go ahead as planned.
Fans have been mounting the tension on the F1 to make a statement and announce a change of location.
The FIA has announced that the Russian Grand Prix has been removed from the Formula One ticketing website in the wake of the military situation.
When is the Russian Grand Prix?
The Russian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on Sunday 25 September 2022
What has happened to Russian Grand Prix ticket sales?
According to the journalist Vincenzo Landino, the event had been briefly replaced by the Turkish Grand Prix on the F1’s official ticketing website.
The Istanbul race was left without a confirmed deal for 2022 but had been part of the F1 calendar from 2005 to 2011 before making a return during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
The event’s recent appearance on the F1 website would lead fans to conclude that this is becoming the most likely option.
What have Formula 1 said?
A statement from Formula 1 said: “Formula 1 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.”
What have the Formula 1 drivers said?
The Russian Haas driver, Nikita Mazepin was recently asked in an interview about the ongoing crisis between his country and Ukraine and how this would affect F1.
Mazepin said: “Of course, From the understanding we’ve had with Formula 1, the race is going ahead and you will surely see me there.
“I’m not struggling at all because I’ve always been a big supporter of sports without politics.”
However, Aston Martin driver and four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel said: “In my personal opinion, obviously I woke up again after this morning’s news, shocked.
“I think it’s horrible to see what is happening. Obviously if you look at the calendar, we have a race scheduled in Russia.
“For myself, my own opinion is I should go, I will not go. I think it’s wrong to race in that country. I’m storry for the people, innocent people who are losing their lives, getting killed for some stupid reasons under a very strange and mad leadership.
I’m sure it’s something we will talk about, but as I said as GPDA, we haven’t come together yet.”
Vettel also added that “my decision is already made.”
Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen also added: “When a country is at war, it is not right to race there.”
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