The promoter of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix has said that it remains possible that this season’s Formula One round, scheduled for September, will still take place at the Sochi track despite F1’s announcement this week – A move backed up by signs indicating that Vladimir Putin’s ambitious attack on Ukraine faltering.
This week, Formula One announced in a short statement that it considered it “impossible” to hold the Russian Grand Prix under the “current conditions” after Russia decided to invade Ukraine. A rather noncommital statement. Further, Formula One did not officially declare that it would not visit Russia this year, although a few hours later the Russian round was removed from the official calendar on its website.
Certainly, the Russian promotors are not losing all hope that their Grand Prix will be removed this year, buoyed by the apparent faltering of the Russian attack on Ukraine and huge international condemnation.
Today, Chechen allies turned coat and have switched to the Ukraine side with the largest supporter of Putin, Belarus, seemingly reluctant to join the battle. Taking to Twitter, a Belarus general declared that he will not commit his troops to the Ukraine effort.
With Putins’ allies seemingly abandoning him in droves and Russian soldiers paying a very high price in lives, the Russian Grand Prix promoter has said that the Russian round is still possible:
“The agreement between the Russian Grand Prix promoter and Formula 1 is suspended due to force majeure events,” reads a press release issued by the Russian GP organisers.
“The tickets purchased are not cancelled and there is no need to ask for a refund now as it is still possible that the round will take place as planned. ANO ROSGONKI continues its activities as usual by providing services to guests of the Sochi Autodrom, as well as organizing motor sport and other events at the federal, regional and municipal levels within the framework of the approved calendar of events.”
For the time being, therefore, the Russian Grand Prix has still not been officially cancelled and Formula One has not yet communicated its intentions regarding a possible replacement of the Russian round this year on the calendar.