F1 terminates Russian Grand Prix contract
London, March 3 (IANS): Formula One has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix, confirmed the world body of sport on Thursday.
“Formula One can confirm it has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter meaning Russia will not have a race in the future,” the statement said.
The race in Sochi scheduled for September 25 this year has already been cancelled. There will now no longer be a race in St Petersburg, where it was due to move in 2023. It is a decision that is very different to the one made by the governing body, the FIA, earlier this week which ruled to allow Russian competitors to take part in global motorsport events.
The decision comes in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and follows F1’s decision last week not to race in Russia in September this year. F1’s original deal to race in Russia was struck in 2014 between President Vladimir Putin and the sport’s then CEO Bernie Ecclestone. Putin handed out trophies on the podium to the top three finishers in 2014 and 2015.
The Russian Grand Prix was due to relocate from Sochi Autodrom to the Igora Drive circuit outside St Petersburg in 2023.
The FIA has already faced a backlash from the decision by its world motorsport council on Tuesday. The following day UK motorsport’s governing body banned all Russian licence holders from competing in the UK.
The FIA justified its decision by saying it was in line with the policy of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).