The Formula 1 has confirmed it has cancelled the Russian Grand Prix in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement released late on Friday, the F1 said it was “watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock” and held extensive discussions before cancelling the event.
“The FIA F1 World Championship visits countries all over the world with a positive vision to unite people, bringing nations together,” the statement read.
“We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation.
“On Friday 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.”
The Russian Grand Prix was due to be held in Sochi on September 25.
The cancellation comes after reigning Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen and former champion Sebastian Vettel said it would be wrong for the Russian Grand Prix to go ahead.
Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, killing dozens of people in the early hours, according to the Ukrainian authorities.
Four-time champion Vettel said he had been shocked to wake up to the news and the Aston Martin driver is adamant he will not compete in the September 25 race in Sochi.
“In my personal opinion, I woke up to this morning’s news, shocked, so I don’t know,” Vettel said at a press conference on the second day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
“I think it’s horrible to see what is happening.
“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.”
Vettel, 34, said he was sure that there would be further discussions in the Formula One paddock.
“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,” said Vettel.
“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.”
Reigning champion Verstappen said he was against competing there too.
“When a country is at war, it’s not right to run there, that’s for sure,” said Verstappen.
“But what matters is not what I think, it’s the whole paddock that will decide.”
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