F1 star Sebastian Vettel says he probably won’t race Russian Grand Prix after Ukraine invasion

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Sebastian Vettel

ROC/Jerry Andre/Hasan Bratic/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Former Formula 1 champion Sebastion Vettel has said he is unlikely to compete in the Russian Grand Prix in September following the country’s military invasion of Ukraine.

Vettel, who drives Aston Martin, said he was “shocked” after learning that Russian forces entered Ukraine on Thursday morning and launched an assault on cities across the country as they headed towards the capital, Kiev.

“I think it’s horrible to see what’s going on and obviously if you look at the calendar we have a race planned in Russia,” Vettel, a four-time Formula 1 champion, told ESPN.

“For my part, my opinion is that I shouldn’t go, I won’t go,” he added. “I am really shocked and sad to see what is happening. We will see in the future, but I think my decision is already made.”

After the start of the invasion, there is were called on social networks that the Russian Grand Prix, scheduled for the weekend of September 23 in Sochi, be canceled.

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Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

ROC/Jerry Andre/Hasan Bratic/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

According to the BBC, Formula 1 officials said they were “monitoring the very fluid developments closely and had no further comment at this time on the race” taking place as planned.

Max Verstappen, the reigning Formula 1 champion, seemed fine with a boycott of the race.

“When a country is at war, it’s not okay to run there, that’s for sure,” the 24-year-old said, as noted by ESPN.

In a substantial move, Formula 1 team Haas has announced that it will remove the branding from its car featuring the logo of Russian fertilizer company Uralkali for the final day of testing before the start of the season. Haas is the only American team in Formula 1 and Uralkali is its title sponsor.

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“Haas F1 Team will present its VF-22 in a plain white livery, without Uralkali branding, for the third and final day of track racing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday,” the team said. said in a press release. “Nikita Mazepin will drive as scheduled in the morning session and Mick Schumacher will take over in the afternoon. No further comment will be made at this time regarding agreements with team partners.”

Mazepin is the son of Dmitry Mazepin, billionaire and majority shareholder of Uralkali.

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The attack in Ukraine is still evolving, but explosions and airstrikes have been reported, with growing threats against the capital, Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million people.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine has been widely condemned by the international community, including with economic sanctions and NATO troops massing in the region.

Putin insists that Ukraine has historical ties with Russia and that he is acting in the interests of so-called “peacekeeping”.

“Prayers from around the world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they come under an unprovoked and unwarranted attack by Russian military forces,” President Biden said as the first stages of the invasion appeared to begin this week.

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing rapidly. Follow PEOPLE’s full coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.

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