Russia launched an invasion on Ukraine on Thursday when president Vladimir Putin ordered a military assault on its neighbour. According to the Ukrainian government, at least 40 people have been killed following missile strikes and explosions in major cities. 

F1 said it is “closely watching” developments amid growing doubt over whether the Russian Grand Prix will take place this year. 

Speaking in a press conference on Thursday, Aston Martin driver Vettel spoke eloquently about the crisis and challenged F1 bosses to cancel the Sochi race, which is scheduled for September 25. 

“In my personal opinion, obviously I woke up again to this morning’s news and I was shocked,” Vettel said of the situation. 

“I don’t know. I think it’s horrible to see what is happening and obviously if you look at the calendar we have a race scheduled in Russia. 

“For myself, my opinion is I should not go, I will not go. I think it’s wrong to race in the country. 

“I’m sorry for the innocent people that are losing their lives, that are getting killed for stupid reasons and a very, very strange and mad leadership. 

"I’m sure that is something we will talk about, but as I said on behalf of the GPDA we haven’t come together yet. But personally I’m just really shocked and sad to see what’s going on. 

“We will see going forward, but I think my decision is already made.”

Reigning F1 world champion Max Verstappen said: "I think when a country is at war it’s not correct to race there, that’s for sure.

"But it’s not only what I think, it’s also how the whole paddock is going to decide what we do next.”