Formula 1 has cancelled this season’s Russian GP.

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The Sochi race was due to be held on September 25 but, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the sport has released a statement saying it is “impossible to hold the Russian GP in the current circumstances” .

The Sochi race was due to be held on September 25 but, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the sport has released a statement saying it is “impossible to hold the Russian GP in the current circumstances” .

The cancellation follows passionate pleas from drivers, with world champions Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso all insisting that F1 should not race there.

Vettel insisted: “I will not go. I think it’s wrong to race in the country.”

All 10 F1 team bosses held a crisis meeting with the sport’s CEO Stefano Domenicali and governing body the FIA on Thursday evening following the escalating situation in Ukraine.

Domenicali joined by video link-up from London with the teams all at pre-season testing in Barcelona.

I would add that not only is this the right decision to cancel the Russian GP but that it’s good to see it being taken so quickly.

The Sochi race has been a fixture on the calendar since 2014 but is due to move to St Petersburg’s Igora Drive complex from 2023.

With Russian President Vladimir Putin having launched a military invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, an F1 spokesman had said on Thursday: “Formula One is closely watching the very fluid developments like many others and at this time has no further comment on the race scheduled for September.

“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”

Sebastian Vettel has vowed he won’t be racing in Russia this season after the country launched an invasion of Ukraine

Four-time world champion Vettel said on Thursday that he would boycott the Russian Grand Prix if it took place, with reigning world champion Verstappen also calling for the event to be cancelled.

Putting the pressure on F1, Aston Martin driver Vettel said: “Obviously if you look at the calendar we have a race scheduled in Russia. For myself, my own opinion is I should not go, I will not go. I think it’s wrong to race in the country.

Max Verstappen says it is not right to race in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I’m sorry for the people, innocent people that are losing their lives, that are getting killed for stupid reasons and a very, very strange and mad leadership.

“I’m sure it’s something that we will talk about, but personally I’m just so shocked and sad to see what is going on. So we will see going forward, but I think my decision is already made.”

He added to Sky F1: “In these circumstances, I cannot understand why one would hesitate, and why we would go there. That’s my decision, but I’m sure with time other people will take their stance.

Sebastian Vettel believes the Russian Grand Prix should not go ahead as they are in conflict with Ukraine, and says he will not race there.

“I’m not that tolerant taking a different stance to be honest because it just seems insane and I’m shocked to see what’s going on.”

Red Bull driver Verstappen continued: “When a country is at war it is not right to race there.”

Fellow world champion Fernando Alonso also commented: “We have our opinion and I’m sure it’s the same as everyone. We can make our own decisions for sure but eventually I think Formula 1 will do the best thing.”

Haas’ Russian driver Nikita Mazepin – speaking on Wednesday after the first morning of testing from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – was confident the Russian GP would go ahead and is a ‘supporter of sport without politics’

Haas are running an all-white car on the final day of testing after dropping the branding of their Russian sponsor Uralkali from their car in Barcelona.

Fertiliser company Uralkali counts Dmitry Mazepin, the father of Haas’ Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, as one of its major shareholders – skysports