F1 CEO Says It’ll Never Race in Russia Again

Russia has burned its bridges with Formula 1, and the race won’t be coming back.

byLewin Day| PUBLISHED Aug 23, 2022 7:03 PM
F1 CEO Says It’ll Never Race in Russia Again
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Formula 1 will not return to race in Russia according to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, reports Reuters.

The 2022 Russian Grand Prix was due to be held in September, but was canceled in February, shortly after Russian forces invaded Ukraine. Any further events were then nixed when F1 terminated the contract with Russian promoters in March. This year's race in Sochi was to be the last at the venue, with the Russian event set to move to the Igora Drive circuit near St. Petersberg from 2023 onwards.

"I've always believed you should never say never, but in this case, I can promise for sure—we will no longer negotiate with them," said Domenicali, speaking to German magazine Sport Bild. "There will be no more racing in Russia," he added.

The promoter of the canceled Russian Grand Prix, ANO Rosgonki, is seeking a refund from F1 for the payments it made to host the race. CEO Alexey Titov indicated to Russian media that he expects the debt to be repaid regardless of F1's position regarding racing in Russia.

The Russian Grand Prix was held at the Sochi Autodrom every year since 2014. Mercedes has won every Grand Prix held at the track, as it joined the calendar during the period that the team dominated the sport.

Russia shows no signs of ending its invasion of Ukraine, even as it faces stiff resistance and mounting losses as a result. Even if the war were to end, however, little would change. There's little appetite to do business in the country in the face of such severe aggression, and even if there were, sanctions make doing so difficult to impossible.

Without Russia, F1 still has 22 full races on the calendar. It's going to be fine.

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