Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: Consequences for Formula One

The sporting world has been seriously affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Formula One is no exception. It didn’t take long for the F1 community to declare their support for Ukraine. Such prominent drivers as Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Lance Stroll, and Alex Albon couldn’t stay aside and expressed their condemnation of the war, demanding to cancel the F1 races scheduled in Russia. 

The Russian Grand Prix

The Russian rounds have been permanently removed from the F1 calendar as Sochi lost the right to host the Grand Prix. The cancellation of the contract might cost the series approximately $53 million. Singapore was chosen as the race replacement in September–October 2024.

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Cutting ties with Russia is seen as a must by the civilized world. It would be surprising if Haas F1 Team wouldn’t have been affected by the current geopolitical situation. Punitive measures have been taken against Nikita Mazepin. Initially, he was supposed to participate in the races under a neutral flag, but as the Russian invasion escalated, the team changed their plans. 

The racer’s contract with the US-based team has been annulled because his father, Dmitriy Mazepin, the team’s sponsor, belonged to the inner circle of Vladimir Putin. The Russian driver, whose foray into F1 was never simple, won’t be able to use his seat in the races and will be replaced by Dane Kevin Magnussen. The latter is a Danish racer who drove for this team from 2017 to 2020. As for the title partnership of Uralkali, the Russian fertilizer company, it has been terminated as well.

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The Squeeze on Team Budgets

Many Formula One teams are based in the United Kingdom, where rising inflation will hit multiple sectors of the economy already weakened by COVID-19. Other countries have also been affected to varying degrees for the same reasons. 

The budgets for maintaining F1 teams have been cut from $145m to $140m this year. In 2024, they will be further reduced to $135m. Despite significant changes in technical regulations this year, new cars will have to be redesigned considering the budget cap.

When it comes to the costs related to logistics, things look complicated, especially for the top 3 teams (Ferrari, Red Bull, and Mercedes). Global oil prices keep skyrocketing as more countries announce their intent to terminate oil and gas contracts with Russia. 

Other Implications

FIA will allow other racers from Russia and Belarus, who used to be a part of the Formula One community, to compete under a neutral flag. 

There have been fears about the prospects of Baku’s race, but they gradually dispersed. Azerbaijan is unlikely to be drawn into this war as a Russian ally even though Ilham Aliyev signed “The Declaration on Allied Interaction” with Vladimir Putin two days before the invasion. Azerbaijan is trying to stay neutral, keeping ties with Moscow and Kyiv.

Author’s bio: 

John is a financial analyst but also a man of different interests. He enjoys writing about money and giving financial tips, but he can also dive into relationships, sports, gaming, and other topics. Lives in New York with his wife and a cat.

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