F1 terminates contract of Russian Grand Prix

F1 terminates contract of Russian Grand Prix

Formula One has eliminated Russia as a Grand Prix host for good amid the invasion of Ukraine by discontinuing its contract with the organizers, the championship promoters announced on Thursday. "Formula One can confirm it has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter meaning Russia will not race in the future," they said. The Sochi resort of the Black Sea has hosted the race since the first run in 2014, but Russia was due to replace it as the venue in 2023.

Formula One already canceled this year's race, following public unease among leading drivers.

Current champion Max Verstappen and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel said they would not race there.

German Vettel said

"For myself, my opinion is I should not go, and I will not go. I think it's dishonest to race in the country,"

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But former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone who played a pivotal role in bringing the race to Russia told AFP it made no sense to cancel the race.

"It don't make sense whichever way you look at," Ecclestone said on Wednesday. "There is no war in Russia as per my knowledge, so it would make no difference to anybody if it took place.

"This idea of punishing Russia this way in a sporting sense is not going to punish (Russian President Vladimir) Putin at all.

"The race would not matter to him."

Doubts also surround the future of American Formula One team Haas's Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and their title sponsor Uralkali.

Haas dropped the Uralkali branding during the last day of pre-season testing in Barcelona last Friday.

Uralkali, specializing in potash, has Nikita Mazepin's father, Dmitry Mazepin, as its non-executive director.

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