Sebastian Vettel has stated that he is willing to boycott the Russian Grand Prix if the race in Sochi is not canceled as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has declared that he will not race in Russia this season if the Grand Prix is held despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
This comes after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine early Wednesday, when President Vladimir Putin ordered a military strike against the country’s neighbor. At least 40 people have been murdered, according to the Ukrainian authorities, as a result of missile attacks and explosions in key cities across the country with thousands attempting to flee.
The international community has promised action against Russian President Vladimir Putin, who took over independent breakaway regions Donetsk and Luhansk earlier this week.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated that Russia will face a “huge package” of consequences, while US President Joe Biden has stated that they will be held accountable for the ongoing war.
The matter has also been carried over into sports, with the Saint Petersburg Champions League final this year being canceled, while Formula 1 is expected to return to Russia in the 2022 season for the Russian Grand Prix which is scheduled for September.
Four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who won four successive has said he will not be present in the Russian race event should it still take place as planned.
The Aston Martin driver talked about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine at a news conference on Thursday, where he challenged F1 executives to cancel the Sochi race, which is planned for September 25.
“In my personal opinion, obviously I woke up again to this morning’s news and I was shocked,” Vettel said.
“I don’t know… I think it’s horrible to see what is happening and obviously, if you look at the calendar we have a race scheduled in Russia.”
“For myself, my opinion is I should not go, I will not go,” he declared. “I think it’s wrong to race in the country.”
“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.”
“I’m sure that is something we will talk about, but as I said on behalf of the GPDA we haven’t come together yet. But personally I’m just really shocked and sad to see what’s going on.”
“We will see going forward, but I think my decision is already made.”
F1 stated it is “closely monitoring” developments as the Russian Grand Prix’s future is becoming increasingly uncertain.
An F1 spokesperson said on Thursday: “Formula One is closely watching the very fluid developments like many others and at this time has no further comment on the race scheduled for September.”