Saturday, August 13, 2022

Ukraine Motorsport Commission Asks The FIA To Ban Russian Drivers

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Image: Haas F1

As you’re probably aware by now, you know, if you’ve watched the news at all this week, Russia has invaded the Ukraine. As a result many attempts are being made by international governments, businesses, and financial institutions to get Russia to, um, not do that any more. Russia and Russian athletes have already been banned from pretty much every other sport on the planet save motorsport. Ukraine’s motorsport federation has requested that the FIA follow other sports examples and commence with the bannenating.

Father of F1 racer Nikita Mazepin, Dmitry Mazepin, and Russian facilitating sponsor Uralkali are not currently included in any international sanctions levied against Russia, but the going theory is that Haas will cut the deal if possible. Regardless of whether this happens, the FIA’s special commission will meet on Tuesday to decide whether Mazepin will be allowed to continue with his seat in his Haas VF-22 for the 2022 season.

Obviously this committee will not only be meeting to discuss Mazepin, as he is just one of a few FIA sanctioned racers driving under the Russian flag. The 24 Hours of Le Mans entry list was scheduled to be released on Monday, but has been postponed by the ACO and FIA without listing a reason. The reason, we have to assume, is that some Russian teams and drivers might not be able to be included. G-Drive Racing, for example, is a Russian flagged team that employs Russian driver Daniil Kvyat.

The Ukrainian motorsport federation requested the following from the FIA:

  • prohibit the use of state symbols of the aggressor countries of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus during the FIA and FIA-sanctioned competitions;
  • prohibit the holding of FIA competitions and authorized FIA competitions on the territory of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus;
  • prohibit RAF and RAF-sanctioned competitions in the occupied territories of Ukraine;
  • to exclude from the FIA all members from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus;
  • to exclude from the FIA commissions all persons representing organizations from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus;
  • Prohibit holders of all licenses issued by the RAF and BAF from competitions outside the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.

Obviously this should be the beginning of a long discussion in motorsport as it relates to racing in countries, or allowing drivers from, countries that commit human rights violations and various other atrocities. But, we’re probably not ready for that conversation, right? 

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