Sebastian Vettel won't race in F1's Russian GP in wake of Russia-Ukraine war
Four-times Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel on Thursday has said that he will not take part in the Russian Grand Prix even if it goes ahead as planned after a conflict broke out between Russia and Ukraine on Thursday.
Vettel said that it is his own opinion that he should go to race in Russia. "My own opinion is I should not go. I think it’s wrong to race in the country," the F1 champion who races for Aston Martin, has said in his statement. He also said that he feels sorry for the people who are losing their lives. "I’m sorry for the innocent people that are losing their lives, that are getting killed for stupid reasons and a very, very strange and mad leadership," Vettel further said.
Reigning world champion Max Verstappen too echoed a similar tone. He said that it is not correct in a country that is at war. "When a country is at war, it’s not correct to race there, that’s for sure," said the Red Bull driver. Russia has held Formula One Grand Prix races since 2014, with the 2022 event scheduled for 25th September.
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Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Formula One officials are closely watching the developments. However, they have not commented on whether the Russian Grand Prix would go ahead on schedule in September or not.
Meanwhile Western countries are mulling imposing sanctions on Russian banks including VTB, which is the title sponsor of the Russian Grand Prix. The race, set to move to a track outside St Petersburg starting 2023 from its current Sochi Olympic Park venue, has been attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past, who has also handed out trophies on the podium.