Written by Hugh Waring, Edited by Morgan Holiday
The FIA on Tuesday confirmed that Russian drivers and teams will not be banned from competing in competitions despite the call for actions following the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
There has been enormous international backlash following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began last Thursday. This has affected sporting competitions where Russian and Belarussian athletes and teams have been restricted to compete. The announcement follows the request from the Olympic Charter and Ukraine’s motorsport authority to ban FIA drivers from these countries.
The FIA president Ben Sulayem announced on Tuesday following a meeting with the WMSC that while Russian competitions (Russian GP) would not take place, these individuals would still be able to compete, just not under their flags and anthems. He continues to state:
“only in their neutral capacity and under the ‘FIA flag’, subject to specific commitment and adherence to the FIA’s principles of peace and political neutrality, until further notice”.
The FIA president said: “As you know, the FIA is watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and I hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation.
“We condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and our thoughts are with all those suffering as a result of the events in Ukraine.”
These current decisions secure Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 seat with the Haas F1 Team. However, the Russian driver still faces important decisions this week following the pending legal talks over whether title sponsor Uralkali will still be able to fund Haas F1 and Mazepin’s seat - a company partly owned by Mazepin’s father. Mazepin may be replaced by Brazilian reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi.
Fellow Russian former F1 driver, Kvyat spoke out earlier, arguing that any decision against Russian athletes would send out the wrong message.
The Russian stated “I don’t want military actions and wars to influence the future of humanity. I want my daughter and all children to enjoy this beautiful world.
“I would also like to highlight and address all sports federations across the world, including IOC, that sport should remain outside politics, and disallowing Russian athletes and teams from participating in world competitions is an unfair solution and goes against what sport teaches us in principle: the unity and peace.
Kyvat recently announced his new drive for the LMP2 class in the World Endurance Championship.
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