Wars have their consequences…
On Friday as Russian military forces advanced on the Ukrainian government in capital city Kyiv, much of the world has spoken out to condemn the aggression. Add to the list FIA, the governing body of Formula One, what many around the globe consider the premier motorsport. The result is the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix, which was scheduled for September 25 in Sochi at the Olympic Park.
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This decision came out after two F1 racing stars spoke out. Former champion Sebastian Vettel and reigning champ Max Verstappen both said it would be “wrong” to hold a race in Russia after it declared war on Ukraine. That undoubtedly put tremendous pressure on everyone to take a stance instead of staying silent.
FIA said it didn’t arrive at this conclusion unilaterally. The governing body spoke with F1 teams, getting their feedback on the situation, then arrived at the conclusion that cancelling the 2022 Russian Grand Prix was the only way forward.
The Russian Grand Prix was added to the event calendar back in 2014. It was a move that some thought strengthened the relationship between Russia and Europe. However, that relationship has grown more strained, especially recently.
F1 wasted no time in removing the Russian Grand Prix from its online schedule. It was originally supposed to take place two weeks after the conclusion of the Pirelli Gran Premio D’Italia and about a week before the Singapore Grand Prix. Now, the drivers and teams get a little extra time to prepare in between those events.
Other sports organizations have cancelled big events which were supposed to take place in Russia. These include the Champions League final and World Cup qualifying matches. It possible more races and other events will be canceled in the future, depending on how this war plays out.