Sebastian Vettel is right to boycott the Russian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel is right to boycott the Russian Grand Prix

Photo of Sebastian Vettel wearing Aston Martin F1 gear.

Sebastian Vettel “won’t go” to Russia this year.
Photo: Chris Graythen / Staff (Getty Images)

Formula 1 testing is taking place in Barcelona this week as the teams deal with their new equipment. But after yesterday’s rather eventless day, Who saw Lando Norris lead the timeAnd the The Russian invasion of Ukraine rocked the ring today Overnight. And now, with clouds of doubt over this year’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, Sebastian Vettel He said he would boycott the event if it happened.

The Aston Martin F1 driver He was speaking during a press conference in Barcelona. According to Motorsport.comAsked about the future of the Russian Grand Prix, Vettel said, “My own opinion is that I shouldn’t go, I won’t.”

The four-time world champion, who is also the director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, said he was “shocked” when he saw the news that Russia had invaded Ukraine.

Overnight, Russian President Vladimir Putin orders his troops to enter Ukraine to carry out special military operations.The move was quickly condemned around the world, with US President Joe Biden saying that “the world will hold Russia to account.”

Photo of the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

Sochi will host its final race in September 2022.
Photo: Alexander Nemnov / contributor (Getty Images)

Countries are taking steps to impose sanctions on Russian companies, banks and high net worth individuals. The European Football Associations (UEFA) also stripped the Russian city of Saint Petersburg of its right to host the Champions League final and I condemn Russia’s actions.

Now, all eyes are on F1 to see how it will respond to the situation.

At a press conference today in Barcelona, ​​Vettel said: “I think it is wrong to race in this country. I am sorry for the people, the innocents who lost their lives, who were killed for stupid reasons under a very strange and crazy leadership.”

His powerful words echoed World Champion Max Verstappenwho said that “when a country is at war, it is not right to race there.”

Of course, both drivers are right about this. Formula 1 should not be racing in Russia in 2022.

but sure, He was not supposed to participate in Formula 1 in Russia in 2014, when the country annexed the Crimea. But she did, only eight months after the Russian troops occupied the peninsula.

Sebastian Vettel in his Aston martin F1 in Barcelona

Sebastian Vettel tests his Aston Martin F1 in Barcelona.
Photo: Mark Thompson / Staff (Getty Images)

Now, with a file Russian race In the calendar, a Russian driver on the network and Russian Shepherds On teams above and below the track, F1 needs to clarify its position. The sport cannot go on claiming that we “race as one” when it so gleefully washes away the atrocities committed by a world superpower.

So far, the sports board has said it will “continue to closely monitor the situation”.

An F1 statement read: “F1 is closely monitoring the highly aerodynamic developments like many others and at this time has no further comment on the race scheduled for September.”

Since I find myself thinking a lot these days: F1, please do better.

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