‘Impossible to hold Russian Grand Prix in current circumstances’

Sebastian Vettel recently labelled Russia's leadership "strange" and "mad".

Formula 1 has today taken the decision to cancel the 2022 Russian Grand Prix following Russia launching a full-scale invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

After weeks of escalating tensions, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to unleash attacks on Ukraine, targeting military bases in an attack that has been described as “barbaric” and “unprovoked” by the European Union.

UEFA, football’s governing body, have revoked St Petersburg’s rights to host the Champions League final this year, and Haas have removed all Uralkali’s branding from their car – Nikita Mazepin’s father Dmitry holds shares in the Russian firm.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner told Sky Sports that they will need to “work on” their deal with what now appears to be their former name partner “next week,” and these discussions are likely to include the future of Mazepin.

Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen both stated their opposition to a race in Sochi this year during day two of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

“When a country is at war, it is not right to race there,” remarked Verstappen.

Vettel gave a stronger condemnation of the horrifying scenes in Ukraine, and insisted that he would not race in Russia this year.

“I woke up to this morning’s news shocked,” Vettel said.

“I think it’s horrible to see what is happening, obviously if you look at the calendar we have a race scheduled in Russia.

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“For myself, my own opinion is I should not go, I will not go. I think it is wrong to race in that country.

“I’m sorry for the people, innocent people who are losing their lives, getting killed for stupid reasons.”

He then labelled Russia’s leadership “strange and mad.”

Having been “closely monitoring” the situation in Eastern Europe, Formula 1 held a meeting with teams and drivers yesterday, and has now officially confirmed that there will be no race in Russia this year.

“The FIA Formula 1 world championship visits countries all over the world with a positive vision to unite people, bringing nations together,” they said in a statement.

“We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a peaceful resolution to the present situation.

“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.”

Rumours have spread that it will be replaced on the calendar by Istanbul Park in Turkey.