What Will Replace the Russian GP? F1 Insider Lays Down Potential Plans

Published 02/27/2022, 5:18 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during the race REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Formula 1 has decided to cancel the 2022 Russian Grand Prix scheduled to happen on 25th September in Sochi. This step came as a result of the Russia-Ukraine situation on Friday. The country is going through political turmoil, and many F1 insiders believe racing in Sochi is not a viable option. Drivers, including Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, and Fernando Alonso, were of the same opinion.

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Vettel went one step ahead of the rest. The Aston Martin pilot implied that he won’t race in Russia even if F1 goes ahead with it. However, the authorities reacted immediately with a decision to skip the race, saying it is “impossible to hold the Russian GP in the current circumstances.” Now, a bigger problem lies in finding the replacement for the Sochi GP.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – February 25, 2022 Haas’ Nikita Mazepin during testing REUTERS/Albert Gea

The race in Russia was the first of the triple header, ahead of Singapore and Japan. F1 will follow a tightly packed calendar in 2022 with hardly any room in between. The 23-race season will begin on March 20th and will run through 20th November, exactly eight months from the start.

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Formula 1 journalist Phillip Horton pointed out logistical difficulties in finding a replacement for 2022 Russian GP. His recent tweet read, Difficulty for #F1 in finding a replacement for Russia is logistics – calendar is packed, so has to be Sept 25. Any replacement on that date would be the first of a triple header (Singapore/Japan) – and that has logistical headaches to overcome.”

F1 community is against holding the Russian GP

Before Formula 1 decided to skip the race in Russia amidst rising political turmoil, many drivers and team bosses already spoke out in opposition to holding the race. F1 lead commentator David Croft immediately came out in support of this decision.

His latest tweet read, “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.”

Moreover, Red Bull star Max Verstappen also believes that it is not logical to go ahead with the scheduled race. “When a country is at war, it is not right to race there,” said Verstappen.

Alpine driver and double world champion Fernando Alonso also carries the same opinion. “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,” said the Spaniard.

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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – February 24, 2022 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during testing REUTERS/Albert Gea

Sebastian Vettel came with all guns blazing as he carries strong opinions against the war. “For myself, my own opinion is I should not go, I will not go. I think it’s wrong to race in the country. 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.”

Now, as it stands, Qatar, China, and Istanbul Park are the frontrunners in line to replace the canceled Russian GP. Fans will surely be offered further updates as and when F1 authorities make a decision.

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Till then, tell us what you think about this entire situation.

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Rituraj Tripathi

370 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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