‘They owe us money’: Russia demands compensation from Formula 1

The Russian Grand Prix was dropped from the Formula 1 calendar in 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Following the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Formula 1 took the step to unilaterally terminate its contract with Russia, dropping the Russian Grand Prix from the calendar.

The situation has left the promoters of the event looking for financial compensation, having paid for an event that didn’t happen.

“They owe us money,” promoter Alexey Titov told Russian news agency Tass.

“We ask Formula 1 to return it. It was paid but there was no spectacle.

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“They admit that there is a debt so in this sense there is no litigation, but they say that they are technically unable to return the money.

“We, as an organisation, were once controlled by VTB Bank, which was a technical sponsor, so there are legal sanctions barriers for the return of funds,” Titov added.

“Is there any hope of getting the money back? Of course – this is the country’s money and I’m not afraid of saying it.”

Russia first hosted a Grand Prix in 1913 and 1914 but the outbreak of war would disrupt plans for future races, with the event not returning to the calendar for 100 years.

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The race rejoined the calendar as an annual fixture, with the Sochi Autodrome having played host to the event from 2014-2021.

Lewis Hamilton holds the record for the most number of wins at the permanent circuit, having taken 5 P1 finishes.

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Mercedes has an even stronger track record around the circuit, securing eight wins thanks to Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas.

No other team has managed to secure victory on the Russian track, although McLaren’s Lando Norris came close in 2021 after he took pole.

Unfortunately for Norris, a poor strategy call as rain fell saw him slip off the track and throw away his P1 position, eventually ending the race in P7.