Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Sochi Autodrom, 2021

FIA calls extraordinary meeting to discuss response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

2022 F1 season

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The FIA will hold an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council tomorrow to discuss the ramifications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for its competitions.

The governing body of motorsport has already announced a series of events at Russia’s Sochi Autodrom cannot go ahead this year. These include Formula 1’s grand prix in September, the World Touring Car Cup round in August and the Intercontinental Drifting Cup in June.

The cancellations were announced after Russia sent its troops into Ukraine last Thursday. Today the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine wrote to the FIA urging it to cancel all its events in Russia and prevent competitors from the country taking part in motorsport outside the country. It called for similar action against Belarus, which helped to facilitate the invasion.

An FIA spokesperson told RaceFans the matter will be considered on Tuesday: “An extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council will be convened tomorrow to discuss matters relating to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Further updates will be given following the meeting.”

The WMSC is chaired by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem. The 28-strong body includes a representative of the Russian Automobile Federation, Victor Kiryanov.

Other sports are also facing pressure to cut their ties with Russia. The country’s national and club football teams have been banned from events by FIFA and UEFA, including the 2022 World Cup.

The International Olympic Committee, which formally recognised the FIA in 2012, today issued a recommendation that “international sports federations and sports event organisers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “FIA calls extraordinary meeting to discuss response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”

  1. I suppose discussing Saudi Arabia’s destruction of Yemen, is not planned, even though it’s orders of magnitude worse than anything seen in Ukraine.

    I guess no one will be mentioning Saudi Aramco and suggesting banning them from F1, like they did with Haas’ Russian sponsor.

    1. My understanding, which may not be correct is Yemen & Ukraine situations are vastly different. In Yemen the govt was overthrown by a group supported by Iran and the overthrown govt asked for help and SA and other countries to help them. In the Ukraine, they were minding their own business when Putin swept in.

    2. The Yemen situation is different. Have a read up. Saudi with other countries supported the recognised goverment when asked to, after an armed coup. They didn’t invade a sovereign nation that doesn’t want them there. Not all countries have clear cut leadership which makes things complicated. Ukraine is not one of these.

      And why do people think its ok to justify bad faith actions by saying someone else acted poorly, so I’m going to behave worse? Wrong is wrong and compounding wrongs don’t get us anywhere constructive.

      1. This right here. Even if it wasn’t different, and for the record I’m still wholly against the Saudi-Arabia F1 and FE races, I don’t really see why every article about this needs to have this dumb whataboutism in it.

        Even if the OP were correct in saying these things could be equated. Just because there’s a bad response there, that shouldn’t mean the response here isn’t justified or necessary.

        1. It is part of a deliberate deception strategy that the Russian military implements around information warfare.

          The strategy is often about creating deliberate false comparisons and confusing statements that are designed to distract from direct analysis of what they are doing. This sort of whataboutism is part of that strategy, and part of the tactic of manipulating particular media outlets to create a distracting narrative designed to legitimise their own actions. You can see it in the way that, for example, the right wing press that favours Bolsonaro in Brazil is being manipulated in that direction and how those who follow them are being encouraged to implement such tactics on forums such as this.

  2. I sort of feel for Mazepin but removing him from the grid is going to get to his Dad. As he’s good mates with Putin that should make for an interesting conversation, and it’s that kind of discussion that may (well – maybe not – but we can hope) make a difference.

    1. At this point Putin has made a gigantic miscalculation that I’m sure he didn’t see coming that is sure to hurt Russia for decades, a spoiled brat losing his F1 seat won’t bother him.

      1. Agreed, but his rather influential father might.

      2. Putin is one man. He has a lot of power and part of that is because a large group of billionaires all swarm around him and support him. A couple of them have started speaking out against the war and the more they start getting affected, more of them will do the same.

        They support Putin because he put them in the position they’re in and helped them to become exceedingly wealthy but faced with the prospect of losing all of that, they’ll be quick to turn on him providing there is enough support from the Russian people. With the Russian economy taking a nose-dive and people’s savings being wiped out, more and more people will be feeling strongly that Putin needs to be replaced…

        I understand the argument people make that it’s unfair to target Russians who don’t necessarily support the war but at the same time, it’s unfair to target Ukrainians with bombs who don’t want a war either. If kicking Russian drivers out of FIA competitions helps to turn more people against Putin, I’m all for it. I certainly have less sympathy for someone being unable to race a car than I have for someone hiding in a bomb shelter hoping to get through the night.

    2. While generally I agree about the whole argument of one cannot blame someone for the actions of a family member, Mazepin -end of day- had his entire career financed by said family member. When said family member is an influential head of the Russian elite, that is partly responsible for keeping Putin in power, I can’t say I’m entirely as forgiving. It’s not like Mazepin distanced himself from Putin’s action, or even left some kind words of support for Ukraine, either.

      Staying partisan is okay when we’re talking about politics, not when we’re talking about brutal invasion and murder of innocents.

      1. “Not being partisan”*

        (we’re getting that edit-button any day now, I can feel it)

    3. @olpeculier

      I honestly don’t feel bad for Mazepin at all. He wasn’t really good enough for Formula 1, and he was quite a shady and despicable character on track and off track. I don’t think he added any value to the sport.. in fact… drivers like him get the sport in to disrepute as being no talent, billionaire sons, who buy their way in to the sport. If it wasn’t for father and all the Russian rubles he brought in, Mazepin would never even have sat in an F1 car. Now that his money isn’t needed, nor is he.

      Good riddance I’d say. Hope we never see him again.

    4. José Lopes da Silva
      1st March 2022, 11:25

      Oligarchs out!

  3. Let the outrage continue

  4. I never liked Mazepin anyway…He should have not been allowed to race in F1…

  5. FIA president from a country that hand in hand with it’s major sponsor Aramco’ country doing genocide in Yemen, give full support to Ukraine.

    1. @ruliemaulana
      The western hypocrisy is sky high. Saudi Arabia, that has announced yesterday that its oil deals status with Russia will not change despite a world embargo on Russia. No one from the western super powers (USA, UK, France, Canada, Germany…) can say a word about the Saudis due to the close economic/military ties they have with them. If the Saudis will pull the trigger, it will be a disaster especially now that they control the supply of oil and potentially gas with latest natural gas fields discovery made by Aramco in four regions of the country.

  6. Cue the ‘what about’ or ‘it isn’t the Russian athletes fault’ remarks…

    No, nobody really believes that it is their fault, but that isn’t the point. It is an attempt to de-escalate the illegal war that Russia has started. And no, nobody truly believes just because we take sport away from Russia that Putin will end the war, but it could have the potential to be the straw that breaks the camels back, or at least contributes.

    If the only arguments against this all boil down to ‘it’s not fair’, and the arguments for boil down to ‘could potentially help end a conflict and save lives’, is it really that hard of a decision?

  7. It is a very dangerous precedent to penalise an individual for the actions of their country of origin. Were American or even UK sports people penalised when they invaded Iraq, a sovereign government, or Afghanistan?
    There are no “goodies” or “baddies” in geopolitics, just baddies. Ukraine is a complex issue and while any violence is deplorable they themselves did not adhere to the Minsk treaty and their actions to encourage deployment of nuclear weapons by the west or themselves on the border with Russia was always going to provoke a reaction.

    1. If it’s a “very dangerous” precedent to penalise people (stop them from playing sports) because of the actions of their country, what do you call is when you penalise people (brutally murder them) because their country did not adhere to a treaty?

      There needs to be some sense of perspective here. One side is facing not being able to take part in motorsport for a while. The other side is facing a 40 mile long convoy of tanks and missiles heading towards their homes….

      1. There needs to be some sense of perspective here. One side is facing not being able to take part in motorsport for a while. The other side is facing a 40 mile long convoy of tanks and missiles heading towards their homes….

        +1000

    2. José Lopes da Silva
      1st March 2022, 11:26

      Oligarchs out!

  8. Mazepins father is part of the elite that keep Putin in power, he is only in F1 because of his father so I see no issue in getting him out. Feel more sorry for Schwarzman but if the regular russians don’t suffer how will anyone ever stand up to Putin, if Russians suffer enough their way out is to rise up and kill Putin. Just hope they can get this done before he causes much more damage.

  9. I don’t understand what the fuss is about.
    Compared to the outrageous Iraq this is just a small regional conflict. Why is the West trying to escalate for no reason is beyond me.
    Applying collective punishment is very uncharacteristic knowing western history.

    1. It’s not difficult to understand really, Iraq (just like Russia) was an aggressor who started trying to invade neighbouring countries. When people speak of Iraq they tend to forget that it tried to invade neighbouring Kuwait (twice?), nevermind what Saddam Hussein was doing to his own citizens.

      1. Yes, it is difficult to understand. You yourself even confuse the two Iraq wars and ignore its colonial past, which is saddening.

        But let’s accept that simplistic view. It is well-known even here of Ukraine shelling the independent republics of Donetsk and Lugansk for 8 years daily. If we are to protect the right to self determination of kuwaitians or kosovars, then should we not extend the same treatment to other self declared nations? It is very puzzling.

        1. Perhaps try and find a different source for your news than state-controlled media, then you won’t be spreading their misinformations as truths.

        2. Derek Edwards
          1st March 2022, 18:18

          …the independent republics of Donetsk and Lugansk…

          Not really. In fact, not at all.

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