Formula One has officially terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix. The sport announced the decision on Thursday.
This means F1 will no longer race in the at-war country.
Earlier this year, F1 took the decision to from 2023 move the Russian GP to Igora Drive, which is located about 40 miles north of St Petersburg. The sport has however now made the call to remove the event from its calendar altogether, and with immediate effect.
A statement issued by the sport this week confirmed that no races will be competed in Russia in the future.
Motorsport UK, too, announced this week that Russian-licensed drivers have been banned from competing in the United Kingdom. This is bad news for Team Haas driver Nikita Mazepin, the lone Russian driver on the current F1 grid.
The decision has created a great deal of uncertainty for Mazepin and his father, Dmitry, who part-owns Haas’ lead sponsor, Uralkali. Haas last week removed the company’s branding during testing in Barcelona.
The FIA, meanwhile, will continue to allow Russian drivers to compete, but under a neutral banner and flag.
Russia first joined the Formula One calendar in 2014, after then-F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone signed a big-money deal with Putin. Ecclestone said this week that the decision to scrap Russia was the right one to make.
Ecclestone did however add that he believed that Russian drivers should continue to be permitted to compete in races. He said Russia waging a war has nothing to do with the drivers themselves.
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