Feb.25 - While still grappling with covid-related restrictions, Formula 1 is now facing down yet another crisis - the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

World champions Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso have led the way in calling for Sochi to be dumped from the calendar as a response to the Russian invasion.

Even Haas' Mick Schumacher said at the Barcelona test: "I believe Formula 1 will do the right thing."

For the final day of the opening pre-season test on Friday, Schumacher's car will be in a plain white livery instead of the Russian tricolour, with no Uralkali branding.

The German's teammate is Nikita Mazepin, whose father Dmitry is the Uralchem chief and believed to be close to Vladimir Putin - even meeting with the Russian president recently to discuss the fertiliser company and Haas sponsor.

Haas boss Gunther Steiner and Mazepin withdrew from their media commitments late on Thursday, although the Russian driver said he is a "big supporter of sport without politics".

"Formula 1 is following developments very closely, as are many others, and at this time we have no further comment on the race scheduled for September," a spokesman for the sport said.

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said the unfolding situation is "terrible".

"There is still time before Sochi in September. My wish is for all of this to stop very soon," he said.

"As teams we have a meeting tonight to understand the situation and deal with it. But I think in such a terrible situation, Formula 1 is not the most important thing."

The Russian news agency Tass reports that tickets to the 2022 Russian GP are currently not available on the official F1 site, but a source said the reason for that is covid restrictions.

Several F1 drivers, however, were openly calling for a boycott.

"When a country is at war it is not right to race there," said Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Vettel added: "For myself, my own opinion is that I should not go and I will not go. I think it's wrong to race in that country.

"I'm sure it's something we will talk about, but as I said as the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers' Association), we haven't come together on that yet."

Charles Leclerc said: "Of course it's sad to see something like this in 2022. Now Formula 1 has to make a decision."

And Fernando Alonso commented: "We drivers probably have an opinion that agrees with the general opinion. Unfortunately we have no power to make such a decision.

"As athletes, as Vettel said, we have to be responsible for what we do," he told the Spanish broadcaster RTVE. We have a race in Russia in September and it would not be logical for us to go there."


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21 F1 Fan comments on “F1 drivers call for Russian GP boycott this season

  1. Peter Powell

    Possibly the best thing the F1 and the world can show our hatred for what that despot Putin has done to world of peace loving people.
    Peter Powell
    Ballarat Victoria
    AUSTRALIA !

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  2. shroppyfly

    I cant see F1 have a choice now after this

    The 2022 Champions League final will be played in Paris after Russia was stripped of the match following the nation's invasion of Ukraine.

    The final of Europe's most prestigious club competition was due to be played in St Petersburg on 28 May.

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    • Donalf

      Surprise, surprise, Sir Lulu is off again, now playing at world peacekeeper the lad just can't help himself perhaps he should contact Putin and say, look Putin I'm Sir Lulu I want you to stop this war you never know Putin might listen to Sir Lulu.

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  3. Dale

    Well since the money is no longer coming for HAAS use the opportunity.

    Clearly Mazaspin will loose his seat; but one last practice session and unwarned paint it yellow and blue before walks into the garage.

    The worldwide embarrassment would reach home for his father at least.

    You can all say Nikita is not responsible bla bla bla; but he is clearly only there because of what is father has been involved with. He is complicit in the actions based on initial response far more than 99% of Russian people. There are far more innocent people paying with their life.

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  4. Donalf

    I still don't get it how one man "Putin" can mess up the whole world & this is just the start, all we want is a brilliant F1 season anything can happen just got to stay positive and hope.

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  5. shroppyfly

    A very similar is happening to Hong Kong, now its back under China's control, they've banned elections, shut down newspapers and banned anti China demonstrations, short of putting in place chinese government and putting troops on the streets, its no different, and the west does what? yep bugga all, except in the F1 world allow a chinese sponsor and driver..!, its no wonder China has not joined in and condemned Putin's actions, don't get me wrong , we've chinese money in uk infrastructure...

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      Shrop', make no mistake, China is,contrary to the dumbass talking head newsies, an ally of Russia and will provide trade and business channels during sanctions. Putin is a misanthropic dolt with big bombs who wants to reform Eurasisa, but Xi wants the entire world. I said it then and I'll say it now, Richard Nixon's big gaffe was not Watergate, it was his plane trip to China.

      Sorry, enough politics, let's go racing!

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      • shroppyfly

        Sighes, ahhh Your right as ever Ror, I suppose we should be grateful/blessed even, that we are so like Sir Lewis... in that we never make mistakes hehe

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        • ReallyOldRacer

          Speak for yourself, Shrop'. I admit to being a bumbling dotard. It just took me 30 minutes to change a lightbulb. And I'm exhausted, BUT I didn't fall off the ladder.

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          • shroppyfly

            probably best i dont mention to much taking 4 hrs to change the belt on a tumble drier then , even after watching a utube clip of it grrrrr

            Anyhow, Lewis fastest over 3 days and GR 2nd by a tiny margin , BUT both on the softest tyres...!

  6. SWAAP

    Hi , I heard today on tv, this is the best news of the year !! My opinion is that The Formula one people are totally right to cancel the race in Russia this year 2002 !! this president is totally crazy, and there is NO reason you take the risk that the pilots will risk their lifes over there !! there are enough countries which are dreaming to have such a sport in their countries !! so I do really appreciate you cancel russia tis year and lets see for next year ??!!

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  7. SWAAP

    Hi , I heard today on tv, this is the best news of the year !! My opinion is that The Formula One people are totally right to cancel the race in Russia this year 2002 !! and there is NO reason you take the risk that the pilots will risk their lives over there !! there are enough countries which are dreaming to have such a sport in their countries !! so I do really appreciate you cancel it this year and lets see for next year ??!!

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  8. Susan

    If the FIA can support Lewis’s BLM support, which by the way very political, they can boycott the Russian GP. If the FIA goes ahead, it will be a black mark on them. People are dying and lives decimated with this invasion. Something’s are more important than money.

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    • shroppyfly

      Susan , theyve cancelled the race, but expect Mr Disruptive, or Lulu to sport a ULM matter t shirt, , he wont be able to stop himself, or preach the gospel according to St Lewis to the media about it

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  9. Les

    Huge credit to Vettel for first to speak out , saying won't go there if they hold Russian race . Verstappen also for speaking out early against Russian race. Should not be any Russian race while Putin is in charge or while any successor maintains his USSR aims by invasion . Next up will be China invading Taiwan . Both dangerous men affecting world peace if you can call it that with armed conflict at any time somewhere in the world but at least some of those conflicts don't threaten a world war.

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