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The annual Russian Grand Prix scheduled for next month was canceled following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but Formula One president and CEO Stefano Domenicali vowed this week that another race would never be held in the country again.
F1 terminated its contract in May after canceling the race in February following the “sadness and shock” that followed the early days of Russian attacks on Ukraine, according to reports at the time, but Domenicali clarified the sports stance on the issue this week, stating that F1 has no plans to hold future events there.
Bernie Ecclestone, Chairman Emeritus of the Formula One Group talks with President of Russia Vladimir Putin next to Chase Carey, CEO and Executive Chairman of the Formula One Group during the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia on April 30, 2017 in Sochi, Russia. (Clive Mason/Getty Images)
“I’ve always believed that you should never say never,” Domenicali told Sport Bild magazine, per GrandPrix.com. “But in this case, I can promise for sure — we will no longer negotiate with them.
“There will be no more racing in Russia.”
Stefano Domenicali, CEO of the Formula One Group, looks on, on the grid during the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 31, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Despite this, CEO of Russian GP promoter ANO Rosgonki Alexey Titov responded to Domenicali’s comments saying the future of their relationships remain “unclear” and his comments were said with a “pronounced political connotation.”
“The current situation in world sports is extremely politicized. It is necessary to take Domenicali’s words here with this in mind. What he said has a pronounced political connotation that has nothing to do with the real spirit of sports,” he said, via Reuters.
Winner Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton, second placed Mercedes’ Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas and third placed Ferrari’s German driver Sebastian Vettel celebrate during the podium ceremony for the Formula One Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom circuit in Sochi on September 30, 2018. (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)
“The future of our relations today is really unclear. We will take Domenicali’s position into account in our further work.”
Titov also said that the debt from the canceled event, which has been held since 2014, must be repaid by F1.
“We expect a refund regardless of the current position of Formula One Management in relation to holding races in the Russian Federation.”
Paulina Dedaj is a Digital Reporter for Fox News and Fox Business. Follow Paulina Dedaj on Twitter at @PaulinaDedaj. If you’ve got a tip, you can email Paulina at [email protected]