Following Formula One’s unilateral decision to remove Russia off the yearly grand prix schedule, Russian GP organizers are not ruling out legal action following the untimely contract termination.
This comes after the sport joined in the frenzy of Russian sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, with the situation “rapidly” progressing from suspension of the 2022 event to outright extinction from the sport, according to Alexey Titov, head of promoter Rosgonki.
“We have been cooperating with the FIA and Formula 1 for a long time, so we are still discussing the current situation and how to get out of it without creating a crisis,” he told the Russian broadcaster Match TV.
“About the termination? We were given 10 hours notice. We were also notified unilaterally, with our position not even listened to,” Titov added.
“As I said we are still continuing the proceedings and it would not be entirely correct to disclose the details now,” he continued.
“I can only say that initially the agreement was that we would terminate the contract due to force majeure. But then it all turned into a unilateral termination.
“All further legal steps now require additional analysis,” Titov revealed. “This is not an easy job, but we will carry it out.
“There is absolutely no point in talking about the outcome now, but we will work to put an end to this matter correctly, since in our understanding what has happened is not quite correct.”
Titov has admitted to demanding a refund of the 2022 race cost, which is one of the highest of the 23 races on the original calendar.
“We will be talking about a refund because this year’s fee has been partly paid and Formula 1 needs to refund it whether they like it or not,” he said.
As Mercedes manager Toto Wolff defended F1’s decision to scratch Russia, Titov reassured fans that their 2022 tickets will be completely refunded.
“I’m sad for the Russian public that enjoyed watching Formula 1, and a population that maybe has no interest at all in geopolitics or any of that,” Wolff said.
“But we as a society, we just can’t look over that. Even a sports team. We are commercially driven, and it’s an attractive location to race, but at a certain stage you have to say ‘Up to here and no more.”