Formula 1 has confirmed that it has cancelled its contract with Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to enter Ukraine last week for what he described as a “military operation,” which has seen Russian troops attack several major cities and other parts of the country.
Haas immediately removed name partner Uralkali’s branding from their car, leaving doubt over Nikita Mazepin’s future, as the Russian’s seat is paid for by his father Dmitry, who part owns the Russia-based company.
F1 then released a statement saying that it is “impossible” to hold a race in Sochi this year under the current circumstances, as the war in Eastern Europe rages on.
F1 has previously held eight races in Russia – all of them in Sochi – after former supremo Bernie Ecclestone worked hand in hand with Putin to secure a lucrative contract with the country.
Mohammed ben Sulayem met with other members of the FIA earlier in the week to discuss the conflict, and he announced that the Russian Grand Prix that was set to be held in September this year has now officially been cancelled.
In light of Putin’s invasion of Russia’s neighbours, F1 has now officially announced that it has severed ties with Russia.
“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,” read a statement.
This means that the proposed race in St Petersburg – the venue selected to replace Sochi – will no longer go ahead.
Mazepin’s future meanwhile still remains unclear. The FIA are still allowing Russian and Belarusian drivers to race as long as they use a neutral flag, but Motorsport UK have banned drivers from the two nations, meaning the 23-year-old cannot attend the British Grand Prix in July.
After an alleged dispute over Mazepin’s chassis compared to teammate Mick Schumacher last year, Uralkali reportedly already threatened to pull out of the pinnacle of motorsport, and a vast amount of sanctions against Russia could render Uralkali unable to provide any funds to Haas, meaning Mazepin would be out of a seat.
Reports have suggested that the Russian has already been replaced.
“Haas have decided: Maepin is out. [Pietro] Fittipaldi will replace him; official statement very soon as the Brazilian will be behind the wheel in Bahrain pre-season testing,” tweeted F1 journalist Sergio Rodriguez.
A prohibition has also been implemented on “Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, flags (uniform, equipment and car)” while no “anthems should be played at international/zone competitions, until further notice.”