The Russian Grand Prix will not be replaced on this year’s calendar after the Formula One race in Sochi was cancelled in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. The F1 season, which had been set to host a record 23 meetings, will now revert to 22 races.
F1 had been looking at potential alternative venues to stand in for Russia but concluded that the additional costs and burdens another race would have placed on teams and personnel were not warranted.
The race was due to take place on 25 September as the first leg of a triple-header with Singapore and Japan. It is understood that Qatar, which hosted its first GP last year, and a second race in Singapore were in contention to replace the Russian GP but organisers have confirmed the schedule will be shortened.
Freight and logistical costs this year are already a major issue in F1, with a potential increase to the budget cap to deal with them under discussion.
Adding an additional European race before Singapore was also ruled out because of EU freight rules that would have required teams to return to their factories, unpack and repack to meet regulations after a European meeting. This was considered untenable from a logistical perspective, with two races in Asia and two in the Americas to follow.
The Russian GP was scrapped by F1 during testing at Barcelona in February this year, within just over 24 hours of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine starting and under the clear threat of a driver boycott. F1 has terminated its contract with the Sochi race promoter and made it clear it has no intention of racing in Russia in future.
The sixth round of the world championship takes place this weekend in Barcelona, which follows races in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Italy and the United States.