Formula 1 will not race in Russia this year following its invasion of Ukraine, despite officially appearing to leave the door open.
The ongoing crisis in Eastern Europe has led to calls for the sport to cut ties with Russia, as the state-backed race was due to take place in Sochi in September. Following a meeting between F1, the FIA and team principals via teleconference on Thursday evening, a statement was released suggesting the race could not go ahead.
“The FIA Formula 1 World Championship visits countries all over the world with a positive vision to unite people, bringing nations together,” F1 said. “We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation.
“On Thursday evening Formula 1, the FIA, and the teams discussed the position of our sport, and the conclusion is, including the view of all relevant stakeholders, that it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.”
Despite the ambiguity of the final sentence, RACER understands F1 will not race in Russia this year, with a potential replacement yet to be identified in such a short space of time. Suggestions that Turkey is set to step in are understood to be premature, and not currently being considered.