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F1, with Russia on the calendar, “closely watching” developments in Ukraine

F1, with Russia on the calendar, “closely watching” developments in Ukraine

Formula One officials are “closely watching” developments in Ukraine after Russia’s invasion on Thursday but did not comment on whether the Russian Grand Prix would go ahead as planned in September.

Russia has held the grand prix since 2014, with this year’s event scheduled for Sept. 25.

“Formula One is closely watching the very fluid developments like many others and at this time has no further comment on the race scheduled for September,” said a spokesperson, whose commercial rights were acquired by U.S.-based Liberty Media in 2017, in a statement.

“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”

This year’s Russian race is set to be the last around the Sochi Olympic park, with the event moving to a track outside St Petersburg from 2023.

It has been attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past, who has also handed out trophies on the podium.

Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea on Thursday, the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two.

The United States and its allies are due to unveil “severe sanctions” against Russia, likely to include measures against more Russian banks, such as Sberbank and VTB.

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The VTB Group is the title sponsor of the Russian Grand Prix. Formula One also includes Russian driver Nikita Mazepin.

The 22-year-old drives for the U.S.-owned Haas team, whose title sponsor is Russian potash producer Uralkali, owned by his father and billionaire Dmitry Mazepin.

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner is scheduled to attend a press briefing on Thursday at the pre-season tests in Barcelona.

IN PHOTO: A general view shows the Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia December 7, 2019. REUTERS/Kazbek Basayev