Formula 1 pulls Russian Grand Prix off calendar after invasion of Ukraine

The Russian Grand Prix is now off the F1 calendar.

Formula 1 announced early Friday morning that it was canceling the race set for Sochi after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The cancellation comes after four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel said he wouldn't race in Russia and reigning F1 champion Max Verstappen said a race shouldn't be held in a country that's at war.

F1 said that it was "impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances." It makes no reference to the race getting added back to the schedule if Russia reverses course.

The Russian Grand Prix has been held around the Sochi Olympic venues since 2014. The country is set to move its F1 race to St. Petersburg in 2023.

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This year's race was set to be held on Sept. 25 between the Italian Grand Prix and the Singapore Grand Prix. Its departure from the F1 calendar means there are currently 22 races on the schedule. The season begins in three weeks in Bahrain.

F1 is in the middle of its first preseason testing session of the season. The Haas F1 team pulled the name of sponsor Uralkali off the car for the final day of testing Friday after the Ukrainian invasion and sanctions on Dmitry Mazepin, the company's majority shareholder. Mazepin is the father of Haas driver Nikita Mazepin.

According to Haas team principal Guenther Steiner, the futures of Uralkali and Nikita Mazepin with the team will be resolved in the coming days due to legal issues.

The Russian Grand Prix is the second major sporting event the country has lost in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to unilaterally invade the former Soviet Union republic unprovoked. UEFA said Thursday that it was moving the Champions League final from St. Petersburg because of Russia's actions.

Drivers take the start of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom circuit in Sochi on September 26, 2021. (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP) (Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Formula 1 canceled the Russian Grand Prix on Friday. (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP) (Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)