Competitions from the world championship of Formula 1 in Russia will never take place again, announced the head of the most commercial motor sport, Stefano Domenicali. In an interview with the German magazine Sport Bild, the Italian executive stated:
“I have always believed that you should never say never. But in this case I can say for sure – we will never negotiate with them again. There will be no more starts in Russia.”
This year’s Russian Grand Prix was due to take place on September 25 in Sochi, but was canceled a few days after the Russian army invaded Ukraine on February 24. According to the 2023 plan, the race was supposed to move to a new track near St. Petersburg, but on March 1 the International Federation (FIA) announced that they were canceling the contract.
Domenicali’s new statement immediately found an echo in the Russian media. His words were commented on by the promoter of the Russian “Grand Prix” Alexey Titov, who insisted that his country still expects compensation.
“This debt exists and our position on it remains unchanged,” he told the state telegraph agency TASS. is extremely politicized. We must bear this in mind when analyzing Domenicali’s words. What he said has a clear political connotation that has nothing to do with real sportsmanship. The future of our relationship is completely unclear at this point. We will bear in mind the position of Domenicali in his future work.”
The first edition of the Grand Prix of Russia in Formula 1 took place in 2014, soon after the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Curiously, each of the eight races held on the street circuit around the Olympic Stadium was won by a Mercedes driver. Five times the winner was Lewis Hamilton (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021), twice – Valtteri Bottas (2017, 2020), and once – Nico Rosberg (2016).