Vettel refuses to race in Russia: I will not go

Russia have been widely condemned after they invaded Ukraine with Sochi set to hold the Russian GP on September 25


In the midst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel has indicated that he will not race take part in the Russian Grand Prix this season given the actions of the nation. 

Vladimir Putin ordered the offensive against Ukraine in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with the country waking up to war, with the wider international community condemning Russia’s actions. Formula 1 has also said they are monitoring the situation closely.

“In my personal opinion, obviously I woke up again after this morning’s news, shocked,” Vettel told the press on Thursday during Day 2 of pre-season testing 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 that country. I’m sorry for the people, innocent people who are losing their lives, getting killed for stupid reasons under a very strange and mad leadership.

“I’m sure it’s something we will talk about, but as I said as GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers’ Association), we haven’t come together yet.”

Russian GP shouldn’t happen

In addition to Vettel, 2021 champion Max Verstappen also voiced his view that racing in Russia shouldn’t happen: “When a country is at war, it is not right to race there.”

Meanwhile, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is hopeful that the situation will be resolved by the time Formula 1 is due to visit Russia.

“It is an awful situation,” Binotto said. “It’s very sad. At the moment, all we can do is wait and see and hope for the best.

“The race is in September, and my wish is everything will stop very soon. F1 is trying to manage the situation and we will have meeting tonight to try to understand it better.

“We can only try to have a deep discussion and try to understand the situation for the future.”

The 2022 Russian Grand Prix is scheduled for September 25 at the Sochi Autodrom. 

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
- Advertisment -


Should F1 adopt a football-style transfer window for drivers? Max Verstappen is the proof...

Formula 1 is unlike any other sport, and that's fine - the F1 purists thrive on its unique qualities....

What went wrong for Will Brown, Cam Waters in NASCAR Cup debuts

The NASCAR Cup Series had some Australian flavour Sunday when Supercars Championship stars Will Brown and Cameron Waters made...

What we learned from the 2024 Canadian GP

Max Verstappen returned to the top step of the podium after a terrible 2024 Monaco Grand Prix with an...
Norman Nato leads the field at the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix | Formula E

Formula E 2024-25 calendar announced for first Gen3 Evo season

Formula E have announced its provisional calendar for the 2024-25 season, which will be the first campaign for the...
Race winner Max Verstappen celebrates after the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen aces huge Canadian GP test as Red Bull and Perez falter

While Lando Norris was frustrated with his team, George Russell committed a litany of errors and Lewis Hamilton lamented...

F1 risks repeating mistake with new 2026 regulations announcement

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali unveiled the sport's much-heralded new era of racing in 2026 promising "a new generation...

F1 Winners and Losers of the 2024 Canadian GP

The dust settled on a barnstorming 2024 Canadian Grand Prix weekend with Max Verstappen returning to the top step...
George Russell at 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix | Mercedes / Sebastian Kawka

George Russell mistakes exposed as Mercedes face major concern

George Russell may have started the Formula 1 2024 Canadian Grand Prix on pole position, yet there was a...
Race winner Max Verstappen and third placed George Russell of Mercedes during press conference after the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Canadian GP 2024

The Formula 1 2024 Canadian Grand Prix promised to offer unpredictability with interchangeable weather and, for fans at the...
Race winner Max Verstappen celebrates after the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen warns Red Bull teammate Perez: You can afford these one-offs… sometimes

Max Verstappen fired a warning shot to Sergio Perez just days after his teammate extended his Red Bull contract...
- Advertisment -