UPDATE 2-25-22: Formula 1 has released an official statement that effectively cancels the Russian GP, announcing that it is “impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.” The original story continues below.
Four-time Formula 1 driver champion Sebastian Vettel has made it clear that if F1 keeps the Russian Grand Prix on the 2022 schedule, he will stay home. Vettel made the statement in a press conference after the second day of testing in Barcelona, Spain.
This is why Sebastian Vettel is boycotting the Russian Grand Prix
By now, you probably know that Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched an invasion of Ukraine within the last 48 hours. Many world leaders and influencers have condemned the attack and are taking stands against Russia.
Max Verstappen says it is “not correct” to race in Russia
It is unclear if the FIA will keep the Russian Grand Prix on the schedule in light of recent events. 2021 champion Max Verstappen has also spoken out against running the Russian Grand Prix saying, “When a country is at war, it is not correct to race there, that’s for sure.”
That makes two drivers taking a stand against the event as of this article. It is unclear if other drivers will join, but it is very likely.
What will happen to the Russian-backed Haas F1 team?
The Haas F1 team has also announced that during the final day of testing, it will remove the Uralkali sponsor branding from its cars as well as the red and blue accents. Red and blue are the colors of the Russian flag. Instead, the team will run with a plain white livery, according to their statement released this morning.
Uralkali is a Russian fertilizer producer owned in part by Dimitry Mazepin, father of controversial driver Nikita Mazepin.
Will the black-out of Uralkali branding continue further into the season? According to Hass F1, “No further comment will be made at this time regarding team partner agreements.”
Will F1 still race in Russia this year?
F1 has not made any firm decisions on the placement of Sochi on the 2022 schedule; Only that it is “closely watching the very fluid developments like many others and at this time has no further comment on the race scheduled for September.” F1 has said that it will “continue to monitor the situation very closely.”
We will update this story as it develops. Do you think F1 should still race in Russia this year? If not, what do you think Russia should do before it is allowed to remain on the 2022 schedule?
Let us know in the comments below or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.
[Sources: Reuters.com, Haas F1]