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Formula 1 permanently cancels Russian Grand Prix amid war with Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin himself closed the deal on Formula 1's Russian Grand Prix, which was cancelled permanently March 1. (kremlin.ru)

Global racing entity Formula 1, which holds its U.S. Grand Prix at Austin's Circuit of the Americas each year, has terminated a contract with the promoter behind the Russian Grand Prix amid the country's invasion of Ukraine.


The racing contract, which held an annual race at Sochi Autodom since 2014, was permanently canceled a week after the luxury racing league said it would cancel this year's Sept. 25 Russian Grand Prix.

"Formula One can confirm it has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter, meaning Russia will not have a race in the future," the statement said.

The original contract was first struck between former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone and Russian President Vladimir Putin himself and was expected to run through 2025.

With the announcement, F1 became the latest sports entity to pressure Russia for its actions against Ukraine.

Prominent Russian city Saint Petersburg was stripped of hosting the UEFA Champions League final, which pits Europe's top soccer teams against one another, on May 28 as world soccer league FIFA banned Russian teams from competitions "until further notice. As a black belt in judo, Putin himself is seeing consequences—the International Judo Federation suspended his title as its honorary president amid the conflict.

The latest F1 hit is expected to have a significant impact on the local economy–well over 150,000 members from around the world were expected to be in attendance.

Meanwhile, F1 secured another five-year contract with Austin's COTA on Feb. 18 as the track gears up for another action-packed U.S. Grand Prix race weekend in October 2022.

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