With the immense political unrest caused by Russia invading Ukraine earlier this year, the world of sports was one of the firsts to stand up against the injustice. And so did Formula One. The FIA, who govern the chief planning of the F1 races, decided not to race in Russia and the Russian Grand Prix was cancelled as a result. The FIA allowed Russian drivers to take part in FIA events, given that they raced under a neutral FIA flag and not the Russian flag.
The 2022 F1 season was set to be the longest season F1 had seen with 23 races set to be held across the world. With the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix, the record was at risk. F1 however had originally planned to replace the Russian Grand Prix so that a 23 race calendar was maintained. Turkey and Qatar were the leading contenders set to replace the cancelled Russian Grand Prix.
However, Formula One recently announced that they won’t be replacing the 17th race of the season and the race calendar stands shortened to 22 races.
Finding a suitable replacement for the Russian Grand Prix was difficult for the FIA due to many factors
There were a lot of factors to be considered when deciding a replacement. A European Round could not have possibly been scheduled because of the EU freight rules causing logistical issues.
Racing in Qatar would also have been next to impossible because of the soaring heat in the country around mid September. Qatar is also preparing for the FIFA World Cup to be held just in two months after September.
Therefore, it’s quite evident that there were various reasons why the race had to be cancelled and couldn’t be replaced. All things considered, the FIA did make the right call by calling off the Russian Grand Prix.
Even with the cancelled Russian Grand Prix, the season is 22 races long which is quite a stress for not only the drivers but all the personnel attached to Formula One. And as for the Russian Grand Prix, the Sochi Autodrome already had its contract ending after the end of the season, so it’s pretty clear that Russia isn’t getting back on the F1 calender anytime soon.