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Formula One terminates contract and removes Russia as Grand Prix host for good

Sochi has hosted the race since the first running in 2014 but Saint Petersburg was due to replace it as the venue next year.

Image: PA

FORMULA ONE HAS removed Russia as a Grand Prix host for good due to the invasion of Ukraine, by terminating its contract with the organisers, the championship promoters announced today.

“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,” they said in a statement.

The Black Sea resort of Sochi has hosted the race since the first running in 2014 but Saint Petersburg was due to replace it as the venue in 2023.

Formula One had already cancelled this year’s race following public unease among leading drivers.

Reigning champion Max Verstappen and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel had both said they would not race there.

“For myself, my own opinion is I should not go, I will not go. I think it’s wrong to race in the country,” said the German.

But former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone — who played a pivotal role in bringing the race to Russia — told AFP yesterday the cancellation made no sense.

“It does not make sense whichever way you look at,” Ecclestone told AFP.

There is no war in Russia to my knowledge so if it took place it would make no difference to anybody.

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“This idea of trying to punish Russia this way in a sporting sense is not going to punish (Russian President Vladimir) Putin at all. The race would not matter to him.”

Among other events stripped from Russia, European football’s governing body UEFA have taken away this year’s Champions League final from Saint Petersburg.

© Agence France-Presse

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