Vettel will boycott Russian GP: “It’s wrong to race in that country”

2022 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel has challenged Formula 1 bosses not to go ahead with this year’s Russian Grand Prix, saying he will not take part in the race following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia sent troops into the country within the last 24 hours. F1 said earlier today it is “monitoring the situation” and its potential impact on the race which is due to take place in September.

Vettel, who is a director of the Grand Prix Drivers Association, said the group had not discussed the issue yet but he is firm in his view the race should not go ahead. “As GPDA we haven’t spoken on the subject so I can’t speak on behalf of GPDA,” he said in today’s FIA press conference.

“But in my personal opinion, obviously I woke up to this morning’s news shocked. I don’t know, 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 innocent people that are losing their lives, getting killed for stupid reasons. A very, very strange and mad leadership.

“I’m sure there’s something we will talk about but as I said on behalf of the GPDA we haven’t come together yet. But personally I’m so shocked and sad to see what’s going on. We will see going forward but I think my decision is already made.”

Max Verstappen also indicated he does not believe the grand prix should go ahead.

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“I think when a country is at war it’s not correct to race there, that’s for sure,” said the new world champion. “But it’s not only what I think, the whole paddock is going to decide what we’re going to do next.”

However Fernando Alonso pointed out the decision whether the race should go ahead or not is out of their hands.

“I think it’s going to be Formula 1’s decision eventually,” said the Alpine driver. “I don’t think that we drivers we have our opinion and I’m sure it is the same one as everyone. We don’t have the power to decide.

“Things like that we can make our own decision for sure but eventually I think that Formula 1 will do the best.”

The GPDA “will have to speak about it,” said Charles Leclerc. “But to not go too much into details because to be honest I don’t have all the information about what’s happening.

“It’s very sad to see that, especially in 2022. Then we’ll take a decision, I think Formula 1 will probably take a decision and have more info than we do. I can’t express myself any more than that, I honestly don’t have all the information about it.”

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Keith Collantine
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148 comments on “Vettel will boycott Russian GP: “It’s wrong to race in that country””

  1. Well done Seb.

    1. And shame on Alonso.

      1. “I think it’s going to be Formula 1’s decision eventually,”

        Well thank you, Sherlock! Alonso with his Captain Obvious moment totally deflecting the question and voicing no opinion is really pathetic. I hate such non-aswers.

        1. Agreed. I’m a bit surprised at Alonso reading the room so poorly this time. He is usually more astute than that. But as to the meat of his quote, it is Formula 1’s decision to hold an event in Russia, but if the GPDA boycotts the race F1 will have a hard time when the best drivers are not there.

          And as others have mentioned, well done Seb!

        2. Leclerc’s non-opinion answer was pretty annoying as well.

          1. We all need to have an opinion right away? It’s strange not to have some opinion, it’s war, it’s not even about politics and who’s at fault as much as that people are dying. But even so, this “must take a stance” thing is what I really hate about XXI century. Of course, you must think what you’re supposed to think, that goes without saying.

      2. Pathetic from political Alonso.

        Vettel on the other hand is honest, which is the supreme quality

        1. Vettel was happy to race in Saudi Arabia. He wants to lecture us on Russia whilst racing in a country that abetting a literal genocide in Yemen, the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Who do Saudi Arabia get their weaponary from to carry out their genocide? USA and UK.
          Vettel was also happy to race in China who are apparently carrying out a genocide against the Uyghurs.

          It seems if Vettel is honest, that he doesn’t car too much about the plight of others in comparison which is a shame or he is happy to make a stand against the leader it is acceptable to take a stand against, which is far from honest.

    2. I am not a fan of Seb but I do applaud his decision.

    3. But he will happily race in Saudi Arabia who have been waging war backed by the US in Yemen for years. He has raced in the USA for many years who have dropped more bombs on sovereign nations than any other country in history. Who bombed Syria on a now admitted lie, who invaded Iraq on a lie, who have destroyed Libya. He has raced in China who have camps full of imprisoned Uyghurs, he has and will race in Bahrain who have a disgusting human rights record. This is symptomatic of sportsmen who have ABSOLUTELY no idea of what is actually occurring anywhere and no idea of what they are talking about. The USA fomented a colour revolution in Ukraine and have been backing and arming Ukraine Battalions such as the Azov Battalion who are knowingly recruiting neo nazis and are actively wearing Nazi insignias. Vettel is a virtue signalling fool.

      1. Well said, this sport stinks of hypocrisy, always has done including racing in South Africa.
        Money talks.

      2. I actually think Vettel is not at all that happy they are racing in S.A. at all Steve, and I think he has actually said so in the past already.

      3. Absolutely. Thank you for writing this down as it saved me some valuable time.

      4. Yes. But on the other hand, why should F1 drivers be any different from the general public? They’re hypocrites from their historical illiteracy.

      5. His heart is in the right place, as he has shown many times in the past, especially last year. It’s easy to point out someone’s hypocrisies when they try to do a good thing but no one is perfect.

        1. I’m sure it is, but that doesn’t excuse shirt sightedness or hypocrisy. Someone’s heart can be in the right place but it’s still their duty to think and learn before the speak seemingly without much thought as he showed last year also.

          More so than that though it’s not just about sebs hypocrisies. It’s the media and fans F1 in general. (Nit to mention the wider world and media and polititions, but that’s another story)

          Like I said though I’m sure it probably is and I respect that as well as try to keep that in mind in these flurries of signalling

    4. Hamilton is waiting to see his position in the championship before he signs on.

    5. Coventry Climax
      25th February 2022, 2:06

      Yes.
      It takes one ball to play soccer, it takes two to race yet none to organise it.
      Seb proves he has two of them.

  2. Always the voice of reason.

    Well said, Mr Vettel.

    1. +1, the difference between Putin and Hitler is that Hitler’s excuse was the Fatherland, Putin’s excuse, the Motherland. Unfortunately we have no current Churchill, only Chamberlains.

  3. Very good conscious of him. Next he should condemned unprovoked and unjustified attack NATO did nonstop in middle east and southern america.

    1. @ruliemaulana
      NATO hasn’t had any operations in ‘Southern America’.

      1. Ok. Banned USGP then

        1. @ruliemailana
          Speak sense.

      2. NATO hadn’t, but USA had. Sometimes they really caused bad, bad things to happen there, not to mention that overthrowing legally elected governments is an act of war itself, but it’s also against basic morality. Don’t worry about them using NATO anyway, they started more wars in last 30 years that one could count. Putin will need to work hard to match his western counterparts. Only ones who suffer is us – people from small countries that had to be their playground. I enjoyed NATO planes over my head so much, I must admit. The smell of burning hum… Anyway, you don’t wanna know I’m sure. Just know that it’s not nice being victimized in this game between old rivals, I wish neither modern empire ever existed, but we’re human, we’d wage smaller wars anyway. Ah yes, and we’re always right, the other guys are the bad guys (especially if we see they say so on the telly)/

    2. Which unprovoked NATO attacks are you talking about?

    3. @ruliemaulana are you referring to “invading” Iraq? Well, sorry to spoil it for you, but Iraq & NATO had an agreement. Iraq did not uphold their end of the agreement and the US with NATO decided to uphold their end of the bargain by utilizing the agreement made.

      Basically it was like a contract. Iraq broke the contract and suffered the response that was agreed upon within said contract.

      If it were a court of law, Iraq would’ve lost and the US/NATO would’ve done what they did because that was the agreement.

      If you are referring to something else, then I am flummoxed.

      1. You are of course correct, Apart from using NATO in your text. The Iraq war was nothing to do with NATO. It just happened to have the Major NATO allies involved. NATO is a defence pact, it does not wage war unless a NATO country is attacked. It has done this only once and that was after the US triggered article 5 after the September 11th attacks.

  4. This whole thing about being skeptical towards Russian GP occurring as scheduled, & especially boycott threat, is silly at this point with seven months left until the relevant event is due.
    Different story if the race occurred in the early-season phase like in 2016 & ’17, but unnecessarily premature since this isn’t the case.

    1. @jerejj
      Nobody is expecting that Russia will be out of Ukraine in 7 months’ time.

      1. Good point, but IMO VET’s thrust is that, irrelevant of whether Russia is in or out of Ukraine by Sept ’22, he [personally] would not like to race the Russian GP because of what they have done now.
        …and YES, the FIA should sanction now, unless it condones that military action.

        Trivia – it ceases to amaze me that ‘American’ HAAS F1 team’s sponsor is a Russian Oligarch.
        Am mindful that the Russian flag is not allowed to be displayed on the cars.

        1. Am mindful that the Russian flag is not allowed to be displayed on the cars.

          Maybe they painted this year’s car with Russian Olympic Committee colours, which are perfectly acceptable.

          1. Better suspend & lift suspension of Mazepin for any potential wrongdoing throughout the year, that way he will be able to compete.

          2. There are many global businesses that rely on Russian money

        2. An opening for Andretti !?

    2. My opinion, and I respectfully disagree.
      It’s about the principle. You need to show that you do not agree with what Russia just did. Doesn’t matter if it’s today or in 5 years time. It’s not the first time they did this to Ukraine. This goes back to the 1950s..

      1. You only need to go back to 2014.

      2. Exactly, it isn’t only wrong if it is happening at an inconvenient time for you.

    3. Coventry Climax
      24th February 2022, 14:02

      @jerejj: It’s silly of you to say that it’s silly. It’s essential that this (Putin’s) type of action is condemned unanimously, and is met with counteractions immediately. The FIA coming out ASAP and saying so would be the only sensible thing (as in ‘not silly’) to do.
      Pity for Haas too, as I expect them -and rightfully so- to have huge financial issues shortly. But then that’s always been the risk of dealing with someone who sits at the table with Putin.

    4. @jerejj Really?

      The Russian GP should be cancelled NOW. No need to set up a committee to gather facts, do a deep analysis and produce a final report on the eve of the Russian GP. Act NOW.

      UEFA is already moving the Champions League final away from Russia. No teams of any sport should play Russian teams and Russia should immediately be thrown out of all international sporting events.

      1. @scbriml
        I’m in agreement with cancelling the Russian GP as I don’t believe it’s safe nor a good idea to hold international sporting events in countries that are in “war”. With that said, I disagree with throwing out “Russian” teams from international sporting events. Why? Just because they are “Russian” and painting them in the same light as their unruly government/ruler? Why penalize those who are not actively participating in that act? You also have to keep in mind that the people of Russia do not live in a democracy like most of the west. So they have no say/vote in who represents them. Lets be careful cancelling ALL Russians based on their nationality.

        1. @flyingferrarim I disagree. The people impacted by banning, say, a football team, should be in zero doubt why that team has been banned – not because of them, but because of the actions of the Russian Government. Those people impacted can then decide if they want to do something about it.

          While you’re concerned about hurting the feelings of some innocent Russians, innocent Ukrainians are being killed by Putin’s army. Kicking out Russian sports teams is the very least we should be doing.

          1. @scbriml: Agree, Unfortunate, but the impact on Haas would be an important factor in the message as an extremely wealthy Russian gets hurt due to Russian behaviour. At the same time, I would feel for those Team members that are nothing more than employees with no other Russian ties.

          2. Firstly, I’m not concerned about hurting peoples “feelings”. What I am saying is that there are good people in Russia and we shouldn’t paint them in the same light from what their governments actions are. Its important to differentiate between the two, otherwise how do you expect to have conversation if you paint everyone as evil on the other side? There are peace protests in Russia and they are already getting silenced. You expect a lot from Russian citizens whom live in fear of their government and have no means to fight against the dictatorship there.

            What is kicking out Russian sports teams really going to achieve anyways? Nothing! The sports teams are not the ones killing innocent Ukrainians… it’s Putin. Lets not lose focus of that. Sports/Athletics is one thing the world has that can “unify” us and you want to take that away? The world governments are the ones that can bring a solution to this evil leader and they are the ones dropping the ball. Those are the ones we need to light a fire under their butts to stop this. Its not like our world powers didn’t see this coming… this has been the talk the several weeks (if not months). We need less gestures and more action. Kicking out Russian sports teams is just more gesturing and brings no solution. I doubt Putin really cares anyways.

    5. Isn’t Liberty Media Corporation a US company? Then they would be going against the sanctions / embargo for doing business within Russia, once all the embargo’s kick in of course. I would anticipate the legal ramifications for breaking such an embargo would be severe. I think Russia is heading down the same sanctions route as Iran or North Korea (once SWIFT removal is complete), once that is done US companies can’t touch them without having their banks / business frozen, iirc.

  5. I respect him more than ever.

  6. A huge step. Well done Seb. Hopefully others will join in to make the race unviable, if Liberty/FIA don’t pull the plug themselves.

  7. I say this as a straight male. I want to marry Sebastian Vettel.

    But I’d be happy to just have him round for film nights and a cuppa.

    1. As a straight male, I can say that I am not attracted to Seb Vettel. But I would definitely introduce him to my parents.

      1. That just got weird LOL

        1. @macaque – I’ll have him Mondays and Tuesdays, you can have him Wednesdays and Thursdays. That gives him 3 days to focus on racing and being a socio-political hero/excellent role model.

          @blueruck – if you want in, I don’t mind dropping a day. Just don’t mention the Ferrari years.

          1. Don’t mention the Turkey crash either.

  8. I find this version of Seb very likeable. Regardless of your political persuasions, there is something a bit admirable of him sticking his neck out when it’d be easier to just sit quiet.

    1. Yet Hamilton is hated for it. Huh

    2. Coventry Climax
      24th February 2022, 14:04

      Right. Like the others do, apparently.
      Alonso might be a decent driver, but that’s about all he’s decent at, it would seem.

      1. Except he’s way better than that as a driver.

  9. Seb’s got his head screwed on. A genuinely decent man.

  10. You’d never guess that Ferrari sells a LOT of cars in Russia…

    1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
      24th February 2022, 12:49

      Presumably, so does Aston Martin.

      1. Leclerc just sounds a lot more circumspect and safe than Vettel

  11. Decent human being… Hope Aston have given him a decent car.

  12. Consider not racing in the USA. They started this hornets nest of disaster. Your typical USA subversion and disaster to destabilize many enemies and even supposed allies. They are even more evil than Putin. Study the history of it a bit and you will see the situation is a bit more complex. Putin in the end shouldn’t start a war.

    War is bad, there are no good sides in it.

    1. If you study the history a bit deeper, you will have to claim that neither Germany nor England deserve to host international sports events. So how deep do you want to go?

      1. Considering Britain’s role in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya then yes you have a point.

      2. If you want to really deep, no one gets to have a race except for aboriginal and native societies. What’s your point? Oh there is no point, it’s an attempt to annihilate a discussion and a current unprovoked attack you can’t win by whataboutism.

        1. @dmw so.. none that are left, yes? Could we excuse Australia, then? Or was their war against the Emus tragedy enough to remove them, as well?

          That means nobody, anywhere, can have a race.. except Native Americans, because -I think?- they are the only native societies that could fund such ventures, with their casino $.

          /from someone waiting for my official ID card for Native peoples.

          1. We lost against the Emu’s. So perhaps they’re the only ones who can host a race. The slippery things wouldn’t even need to build cars they’re so quick. Track limit violations will be all over the spot though, and good luck with VSC.

          2. Are we 100% sure that no Native American Tribes ever waged unprovoked attacks on any other tribes?

        2. Welll excuuuuse me, you seriously think aboriginal and native peoples do not wage wars, massacre one another (or themselves) and bring about self-destructing ecological catastrophes? What have you been smoking lately?
          All racing should be done in Antarctica, no human population is innocent.

    2. They sure shouldn’t be going but the point is the massive hypocrisy from vettel drivers teams and F1 and media and fans. There’s then the UK and US and so on that F1 shouldn’t have been visiting either.

  13. What’s that human chicane, Nikita Mazpin, got to say for himself today?

    1. We know what side of his bread is buttered. But no one knows his personal views and I think it’s important right now not to demonize every Russian person.

      1. I absolutely agree. Most Russians either feel powerless to change their country for the better or are simply fed constant state propaganda and so know no different. However Mazipins father is one of the corrupt elite of Russia and hence will be on very friendly relations with Putin. He has shown his contempt for others a number of times, most notably when he and Nikita both physically attacked a fellow driver for having the cheek to beat Nikita…

        Make no mistake. Mazipin will be purely on Putins side in this.

        1. His oligarch father is on Putin’s side until bottom dollar clarity is achieved. I suspect that war is bad for business in many continuously updating ways for these guys. One of these creeps might just do away with Putin. Here’s hoping that the pieces can be picked up by responsible actors.

  14. How can you not like this man? That’s how you react.

    1. I, for one, like him a lot.

  15. oh, what a terrible picture :)

    But this is Seb. Actions speak louder than words. BRAVO!

  16. The last day has witnessed 3 sets of airstrikes:

    1. Israeli strikes against the Syrian military
    2. Saudi strikes against Yemeni civilians
    3. Russian strikes against Ukrainian military installations

    Nobody’s talking about 1 or 2.

    1. Equally, nobody’s talking about all the stuff they were talking about before F1 raced in Saudi Arabia either…
      For all the talk, it is yet to be seen whether Vettel would actually follow through with what he says.
      I hope he gets the opportunity to prove himself.

      1. Some countries are more equal than others.

    2. @ruliemaulana and nobody is talking about canceling the race in Saudi..

      1. On the contrary, many people have spoken about the fact that we should be cancelling races in Saudi, among others. It comes up all the time.

        It is to be expected that people will, in the same way, call for the cancellation of a race in a country which has just invaded its neighbour, and is looking like it wishes to annex yet more of it just as it did with Crimea a few years back.

        I’m not saying that Russia is the only country doing bad things, nor that Russia bears full responsibility for what is going on, but when one country launches a full scale invasion of another it should be condemned in the strongest terms, and racing in that country when the government there will use it for its own political gains would not be right.

    3. @ruliemaulana Well we clearly know where you land, politically, given that Syria does not believe in the existence of Israel and has been hostile towards them just as much.

      1. No, you don’t. I just sick hearing hypocrites here.

        1. Why is it hypocritical? Israel gets hit with missiles that are transported through Syria by Iran. Given Iran wants Israel to be “wiped off the map” (Their quote) I am not surprised at the strikes.

          Iran is in Yemen, controlling the anti-government forces and so given that Iran has made it very clear that it wants to eliminate Saudi Arabia, I am not really surprised they have carried out strikes.

          Ukraine has done zero wrong and NATO is zero threat to Russia. The only reason their is conflict is because in 2014 Russia invaded Ukraine and now it is doing it again based on a pretext that the areas it already invaded need protecting. Putin also has claimed Ukraine is not a country…

      2. neiana,
        That’s correct and bad at the same time. Though Israel hasn’t been kind to Syria either, they have been occupying the Golan heights since 1967 which was condemned in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and they have “annexed” it in 1981 against every international law. While the biased Trump administration recognized the sovereignty of Israel over the territory in 2019, the United Nations affirmed that the state of the territory is unchanged.

        Russia and Israel have done the exact same condemnable act of wars towards their sovereign neighbours capturing their land and annexing it.

    4. You forgot other strikes that nobody talks about:. 4. Russia strikes civilian populations in several parts of Syria almost every day since many years ago.

  17. A penny for the thoughts of the management team at Haas.

    Driving around in a motorised Russian flag was never a great idea but probably seems even less-so today…

    1. @sonnycrockett I was thinking the same thing – not the best idea in today’s world.

    2. Enter Michael Andretti ?

  18. I’m hearing that Liberty have already started talks with Turkish GP officials to see if they would be able to host a race on that date should they have to opt against holding the Russian Gp.

    1. Should have a back up plan in case Putin next turns his attention to the imagined Russian right to control the Dardanelles and the seat of Orthodoxy.

    2. @gt-racer Unsurprising as Turkish GP is indeed what I reckon as the most probable replacement on the off-chance Russian GP faces cancellation.

  19. Whilst we’re at it can we stop Haas prancing around the world dressed up in a Russian flag? An absolute mockery of the ruling banning Russia from world sports.

    1. @cduk_mugello they’re only doing what the Olympics allows. Far less, actually, as the Olympics allows Russians with positive drug tests to perform, so there’s that.

      1. To be fair, on that particular event. The IOC actually fought to ban Valieva but CAS ruled that they could not stop her competing given her age and the fact that the samples were analysed very close to the competition. CAS however did not rule that she should not be banned after the event and be stripped of her medals. The Samples were late as the Russians purposefully marked them as low priority and so the lab did not put them through the test until close to the Olympic event. Clearly Russia tried to subvert the drug testing process which is not at all surprising given they have done so for many years and are already serving a partial ban for doing so. They pretty much got away with it so they feel they can keep doing those things.

  20. The race doesn’t have a right to exist.

  21. The solution is simple, bomb Sochi & the rest of Russian circuits..

  22. This is very unusual, courageous, and highly commendable by Vettel. Courageous because F1 being a team sport, it can be construed as letting down the team. But it is difficult not to like that “I am doing the right thing, so sack me if you want” attitude. I can’t remember one instance of a single-man boycott for political reasons in F1, or has there been any in the eighty-something South African GP ?

  23. I sorry but that is a silly comment. Even though you are repeating Putin’s ignorant rambling fake history lecture in his marble basketball arena. The reason why there are no Russian troops in Mexico and Canada is because they are not in mortal fear of US invasion. You are mixing up your premises and your conclusion. Your examples of Venezuelan and Cuba only further undermine your point because both are oppressive regimes who can only find patrons among other bullies and autocrats.

  24. Very well said Seb. Out of interest, when was the last time a driver/drivers/teams boycotted a race for political reasons?

    I can definitely think of South Africa 1985, but I’m not sure if there have been any political boycotts since.

  25. Eastern European countries are more closely aligned to Western Europe and the US in terms of their political outlook. They applied to be members of NATO. In light of recent events can you blame them?
    Some people go around with the view that US = bad. Give me the US over China or Russia any day.

  26. If you are going to post from multiple accounts to make it seem like you have more support than you do, it would be helpful to not post an identical message with both accounts…

  27. I also spare a thought for Haas, especially the few hundred staff and crew who have spent an entire year focusing solely on this season, only for this scenario to come up. Yes, OK, maybe signing a sponsorship deal with a Russian company was risky given the tense relationship between the US and Russia, but no one at Haas ordered an invasion of Ukraine. Of course, whether/in what form they are allowed to proceed is still to be seen, but they’re certainly in a difficult situation. I wonder if Andretti’s F1 entry may be rather more sudden than they expected.

    1. An obvious solution, Andretti-Haas.

  28. Well done Seb. What a man! My hero.
    I saw some saying “new side of him”, well I recall him trying to turn attention on smoke from demonstrations in Bahrain during interview. Also Green peace replacing national flags with their own during post race ceremony at Spa Francorchamp, he knowing cameras have zoomed in to preventing public from seeing kept asking “what is that?” and pointing upwards.

  29. If Vettel wants to boycott races for political reasons it would quicker to tell us what races he is going to race as opposed to which ones he will boycott.

  30. Never been much a fan of Vettel as a driver, but a huge fan of him as a person.

  31. “I think when a country is at war it’s not correct to race there, that’s for sure”

    Seb seemed happy to race in the USA while they were at war.

  32. Cancel the race! Putin in an imbecile.

  33. If it is wrong to race in Russia because ‘they invaded Ukraine’, is it also wrong to race in Germany because they too ‘invaded Ukraine’ and murdered millions of Ukrainians to boot?

  34. I have a sinking feeling about Mick Schumacher’s chances to participate this season, especially if Uralkali pull support from Haas.

    1. Indeed, HAAS may be forced to part ways with them due to sanctions… Which will be a shame for Schumacher if it means HAAS can no longer fund the team.

    2. @wrsgo I am definitely speculating and being very optimistic with this, but I wonder if it’s possible that Andretti’s F1 entry might end up coming a lot sooner than they expected (in the form of them buying Haas if they lose the Uralkali money).

      And I think it’s also a question of whether Uralkali pulls their sponsorship, or Haas are banned from taking money from them because of sanctions. The latter wouldn’t surprise me.

      1. @wsrgo should I say.

  35. I’m impressed by vettel’s comment, despite it being well known I’m not his fan at all as a driver.

    1. Totally agree with you.

  36. Totally agree with you.

  37. I was not a fan for a long while. I thought that his success came easier and luckier after his rookie years, than it ever will come to most of the others.

    But since then, his hard seasons at Ferrari have changed him towards a better direction, I like him. <3 Seb, often he used his stardom well, at the very least.

  38. A truly ethical political perspective of F1 would only allow the videogame’s version. Quite shallow Seb

  39. Formula 1 and all international sports SHOULD BAN ALL Russian national teams and Russian teams from everywhere.

    And that includes Sponsorship, like in the HAAS. They should remove ALL Russian sponsorship from they car, pit and uniformes!

    And, of course, the Russian GP must be canceled right NOW, indefinitely…

  40. Way to go Seb. I cannot understand any other reaction.

  41. In other words…

    “We’re turning the other cheek and don’t want to mess with the money until we’ve either been publicly shamed and embarrassed enough, or, a new venue with less egregious offences raises their hand and offers to pay an even more outrageous sum to stage a race.”

    There you go F1…I’ve corrected it for you…You’re welcome!

  42. It’s pretty easy (i.e. facile) to play ‘whatabout…’ and exclude most of the Formula 1 calendar for past and present national crimes. However, Russia has launched an unprovoked war on a neighbouring country of 40 million people because it doesn’t like its government or its international friends. Like the US, UK and Saudi Arabia, Russia has attacked and invaded other countries in the past for ‘national security’ (Afghanistan, Chechnya). But the invasion of Ukraine is different: it’s about Russian re-expansionism and the precedent in Europe (1930s) is alarming. Obviously Formula 1 should go nowhere near Russia for the foreseeable future, unless it wants to function as a propaganda tool for the Putin regime?
    Vettel has my admiration too. Alonso is pathetic. If all the drivers refuse to drive, there is no GP. Grow some cojones Fred.

    1. @david-br
      Great comment, the manner in which this invasion has taken place is the pertinent point. I think the last time a country tried to launch a pure war of conquest like this was Saddam Hussein and Kuwait. Look what happened there.

    2. @david-br

      Agreed.

      Also:

      Obviously Formula 1 should go nowhere near Russia for the foreseeable future, unless it wants to function as a propaganda tool for the Putin regime?

      This is where the “keep politics out of F1” argument falls down. There are quite a large number of GPs now which are used politically by the host countries. By even going to them, you are showing tacit support for their governments, and the entire event becomes political. Holding a GP in Russia, playing their anthem, flying their flag and allowing high-ranking government officials to hand out trophies while it is involved in a full scale invasion and occupation of a neighbouring country would be seen as supporting Russia in this, no matter the statements made by individuals, teams, or even the FIA itself.

      The world is political, sport is used as a political tool, there is no escaping it.

      1. @drmouse I agree ‘sportswashing’ very much exists with numerous GPs and they are (also) used by local or national politicians for electoral purposes or, in some cases, to channel incoming resources where they want for political (and who knows personal) gain. In this specific case, though, continuing with the Russian GP would have enabled Putin to say ‘life carries on as normal’ despite invading Ukraine, both to Russia’s own people and internationally. Formula 1 of course has dodged the issue by simply stating that racing in Russia would be ‘impossible.’

  43. If the drivers feel strongly enough, they can boycott the race regardless of what Formula 1 management decide. I suspect the race will be cancelled for the foreseeable future however.

  44. Dear mr Vettel, you didn’t had regrets all this year’s to race in turkey, a country that had invaded Cyprus since 1974.

  45. If Russia goes further than Ukraine, then we might end up with much fewer races – but at that point F1 will not really be so significant anyway.

    Is there a minimum of races needed to take place to declare a world champion?

  46. I think racers should just shut the hell up and drive. None of them is even remotely qualified to give opinions on political situations, simply because they don’t have enough information. Russia-Ukraine war is a consequence of so many factors that none of us is really qualified to give meaningful opinions.
    Only information that we have about it is the one media feeds us with, and we all know how reliable they are.

    1. @sermilan
      I think you’re just avoiding saying anything about the Russian war of aggression, and that gives tacit approval to Russia’s actions. There’s only one factor at work in this war – Putin’s desire for expansion and his dreams of recreating something like the Soviet empire.

      1. @sermilan is avoiding nothing. However, what you do is exactly proving his point.

        Picking sides to a conflict you know nothing of. Claiming motives you know about even less..

    2. “We don’t want people driving, we want puppets”

    3. The problem is that in an issue like this, it is near impossible to remain neutral.

      If F1 holds the Russian GP as planned, it will be seen as supporting Russia. It will certainly be spun as such by Russian politicians. Likewise if the drivers stay silent and race in Russia. It doesn’t matter what they say about it, that’s how it will be seen. Similarly, if F1 decide to cancel the GP, it will be seen as siding against Russia. About the closest they can get to remaining neutral is to hope that sanctions take the decision out of their hands, but even then it would be difficult to retain a neutral position.

      Staying neutral or staying silent is not really an option for those in a high profile situation which involves Russia in any way at this time.

  47. It is being excepted in general terms that Ukraine has fallen. The US in conjunction with the EU is in the process of setting up a government in exile for Vladimir Zelenskiy. The sanctions will be intact for some time and that is what will stop Liberty from going to Russia, not any moral responsibility on the part of Liberty.
    China obviously is watching this carefully and would be weighing up their options in using the same tactics on Taiwan.
    As I posted earlier this week it would be prudent for Liberty to make contingency plans for moving some of the race venues.

  48. This guy is as spot on as it gets, recently

  49. +1 Seb, a true leader in the paddock. Is Haas F1 an American company? Doing business with a Russian oligarch may not be possible with the hardcore sanctions.

  50. Vettel, the master at virtue signalling, now that he can’t win championships anymore.

  51. Vettel is npw sporting the same covid haircut that I have resigned myself to. Is F1 my complete echo chamber?

  52. International politics and the art of selective amnesia

  53. Rob (@realnigelmansell)
    25th February 2022, 3:32

    I’m not that political but if this means mazepin is replaced with a driver who belongs I’m all for it

  54. What about not racing in China? Firtly, I know many Chinese folk here and they are really gentle and caring, but the Chinese Communist party and its leader are destroying world freedom.

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