Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022

FIA urged to block Russian competitors from races over Ukraine invasion

2022 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Ukraine’s FIA-affiliated motor club has urged the governing body of world motorsport to block Russian competitors from events following the outbreak of war between the two countries last week.

Russia sent troops into its western neighbour on Thursday morning, prompting international condemnation. The United States, European Union, United Kingdom and other countries have brought sanctions against Russia in response.

The FIA and Formula 1 announced last week the Russian Grand Prix, which was scheduled to take place at Sochi Autodrom on September 25th, would not go ahead. The Haas team removed the logos of title sponsor Uralkali and its associated Russian colour scheme from its cars, motorhome and garage.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem wrote to the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine on Thursday saying “you can be assured of my full support and that of the FIA. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any help you may need.”

In response, FAU president Leonid Kostyuchenko appealed to Ben Sulayem to take a series of actions against Russia and Belarus, its neighbour and Russian ally through which part of the invasion was launched.

The FAU called on the FIA to exclude all members from the two countries and prevent their licence-holders from competing in events outside their borders. This move would prevent Haas driver Nikita Mazepin from continuing his Formula 1 career. Team principal Guenther Steiner acknowledged last week that his driver may be replaced.

The FAU also urged the FIA to prohibit the display of symbols associated with the “aggressor countries” and prevent them from holding official FIA events within their borders or occupied areas of Ukraine.

Other FIA series have joined F1 in abandoning plans to hold races in Russia. On Saturday, the FIA World Touring Car Cup also called off its Russian event.

The FAU is based in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Civilians are fleeing the city in huge numbers as the Russian army advances upon it.

“Despite the fact that Kyiv and most Ukrainian cities are under cruise and ballistic missile fire, there are casualties and civilian casualties, FAU staff continue to perform their duties online from their actual locations,” Kostyuchenko told Ben Sulayem.

“Given the current situation, the FAU is preparing a proposal for possible measures of support from the FIA ​​for the postwar period, when all state resources will be directed to recovery.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 F1 season

Browse all 2022 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2022 F1 season articles, F1 newsTags , , , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 94 comments on “FIA urged to block Russian competitors from races over Ukraine invasion”

    1. Why do that? Fine, ostracise those supported by Putin’s oligarch cronies, cancel the grand prix etc but a ban on all Russians competing is just daft. The individuals do not represent their government. Don’t bring any more politics into motorsport – it’s not a ‘national team’ sport like many others, and that’s a good thing. In addition – if you’re going to ban Russians for their government doing this, why not ban Saudis, Israelis, Brits, Americans, French, Chinese – gosh, a whole lot of countries – for their governments causing just as much or more suffering in foreign lands as Russia is now? See, it’s slippery slope if they do something like this.

      1. Agreed, what next? A ban on Russian people living and working around the world. This has type of messaging could get ugly and end up with normal Russian people being persecuted.

        1. Putin the devil invader is being fought by Ukrainians – on Ukrainian land. Russian individuals may not represent their government but they do benefit or suffer under that government’s decisions. If they don’t like it, they can apply for citizenship elsewhere. Or perhaps fight the devil in their own homeland. Leave Ukraine out of it. The military invading Ukraine are Russian soldiers, yes they are. 🇺🇦

        2. The russians who feel oppressed can fight back, that’s what Ukrainians are being forced to do. And if Russians threw down their arms & did not enlist in the Russian military, this invasion would be resolved. Everyone could go on competing in any sports events they wish. 🇺🇦

      2. There is a difference as here is a nation complaining about a other nation actions. So Ban Saudi, Israelis ?? Brits Americans Chinese which nation is going todo that? Why some probaly deserve the ban but If there is no other side there is nothing we can do.

        1. @macleod maybe the Afgan / Iraqi FIA affiliates?

          1. I think your mistaken agressors those were the ones who attacked a Nato member and then you know what that means.

            Iragi is UN rules so they have to fix that.

      3. Amen, wish people finally understood.

      4. Criminalising being Russian. No no no

      5. someone or something
        28th February 2022, 15:40

        Holy guacamole, that’s a long list of mandatory talking points the Ministry of Truth is having you tick off. Solid disinformation, 5/7.
        I just hope your paycheck isn’t in rubles …

      6. Then there wouldn’t be any sports whatsoever. Every country has done something so serious that it is worth of a block. I bet Mazepins race seat doesn’t save ukranians life. One russian has acted so why can’t FIA act as well.

      7. I disagree. Sport is used by Putin as a political tool. All the measure we have are designed to hurt the Russian people enough that they pressure Putin to either stop his madness (unlikely) or depose or kill him. Sanctions do not hurt Putin, he will continue to steal the money of the Russian people to keep for himself. Declaring war on Russia would only hurt the Russian people as Putin will be in a Luxury bunker. Banning sports is the only thing that will have any direct effect on Putin himself as he uses sport to massage his fragile ego. Perhaps the Russian people will eventually rise up and get rid of their despot leader once and for all and come back into the international community where they belong.

        Lets face it the Ukranian people are also not to blame for Putins mental health issues but they are certainly paying the price of it.

        The other issue is that no other sports people will want to compete against Russians and so for the sports to survive they will have to ban Russia.

      8. Nice regurgitation of the Russian talking points. Might want to give your own sources the analysis you are asking us to give to our free and open media. Russian state media or Al Jazeera? Pretty clear who I will trust.

      9. What next Stroll being kicked out for being associated with Muppet Troodoo or Ricciardo gone for knowing about Morrison?? Both these clowns are dictator scumbags too!

      10. Jose Lopes da Silva
        28th February 2022, 23:11

        The guy is an oligarch, for Christ’s sake.

      11. Indeed, that’s a racist response by who asked to block russians, I play world of warcraft and I saw that as well on the forums, people asking to ban russian players, that’s as unfair as it gets.

      12. @tflb I’d say it’s a choice between using all non-violent pressure possible (sanctions, boycotts, bans) to get Russia to reach a negotiated withdrawal, or a war that will escalate and escalate with a good chance of NATO involvement eventually. (Also, incidentally, why all the other examples you allude to are irrelevant as a comparison: none threaten the prospect of a global war between nuclear-armed countries.) And as for what happens after that, all bets are off. I think banning Russian sportspeople is a lesser evil and perhaps effective. Why? Because, along with the economic hit, it will cut through the state media control to the Russian population and they (and the financial and industrial sectors) can directly or indirectly force Putin to back down. If the choice is between banning sportspeople from international competition for a while and the chance to avoid the destruction of a country with 40 million people, I know which I choose.

      13. If a nation you dont like invades a nation you suddenly realised existed, all thing associated with the former should be cancelled.

        If a nation you like invades a nation you suddenly realised existed, then there are no problems.

        1. Invading is ALWAYS a problem even from friendly nations (Why do you think the US moven heaven en earth to move the UN into action….)
          US liberates Kuwait but couldn’t finish Iraq because of the UN and they listened to that. the Second War is where the most people had problems with …..
          Afghanistan didn’t joust out a certain person and even defend him (at a periode that even Iran was carefull with their comments) thinking that the US couldn’t reach them, Yes that was nasty but in the eyes of international rules fine.
          Now i took just the major things out but i could talk a while further……….. And i am aware that Nations aren’t always nice and following the rules like before the 1980-s.

          1. @macleod

            Some nations are more equal than others.

    2. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      28th February 2022, 12:41

      On the one hand, I kinda feel for Mazepin to lose his seat this way: it’s not like he’s doing the murdering himself. On the other hand: I couldn’t really care less becau’se Mazepin isn’t exactly adding anything worthwhile to the grid.

      Only issue I can see happening is ther same having to be done when China invades Taiwan after this Russia-Ukraine ordeal is done to Zhou.

      1. I don’t like having that guy in F1 simply because I dislike him, but then, it’s fun having something you dislike in some way. Maybe he can change my mind? Maybe he can prove me right and lose his seat because of his performance or conduct? It’s a story like any other, we all (or almost all) have our favourites and often their antipodes. That’s part of life and definitely part of sport and well, anything of public interest.

        This, kicking someone out because of his nationality/race/country of origin/colour of his eyes is not just against most national and international laws, but also morally wrong and disgusting in so many ways. I’d rather see the one who proposed this banned from sport for life. Ban Putin, ban Saudi royal family (if you dare?), ban people like Mazepin Sr., but leave Russian people alone. In times like this we, people in general, can either show dignity and honor or lower ourselves and dig our own holes into the mud. If aggressive war was the only criteria we’d all be banned from anything sooner or later, most of us already long forgotten.

    3. What about other aggressor countries like Saudi Arabia for example, which abstained from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, saying it contradicted sharia law. It is not a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which includes freedom of religion.
      Saudi Arabia and some of the Gulf states have been carrying out airstrikes on the Yemen, violating international laws and arresting anyone that criticizes them.
      Your much beloved homosexuality and transgender are widely seen as immoral and indecent activities, and the Saudi Arabia law punishes acts of homosexuality or cross-dressing with capital punishment, fines, public whipping, beatings, vigilante attacks, vigilante executions, torture and also they have death penalty for witchcraft and adultery – check Wikipedia.

      And this peaceful, democratic country’s state company Aramo is the sponsor of F1!

      Halleluia! Crucify Mazepin!

      1. Adultery only the males should be put to dead but witchcraft is proved never exsisted and it’s regilious based.

        The rest is Laws everyone in that lands knows and they lives there. If your different you should move to places safe to you. Changing Lands takes a very long time.

      2. What about Ukraine? Ditching 18.000 firearms to civilians. All to protect one politician on the guise of the whole country.

        1. The bot response is heavy, with this one.

      3. I’ve been shouting about this for a year but apparently not enough fans care and both the Saudi Aramco sponsorship and the saudi grand prix are very profitable for F1. In fact they probably make the difference between a profitable 2021 and losing money.

        1. So we must invade and change the people at gunpoint or even genoiced the population?

          While we think we are rightous in our way of living this is not in the eyes of people living differently… That is why i said changing countries takes time if we show everytime how we live things are going to stick in the population and slowly things are going to change to a beter livingstandard. This doesn’t work at gunpoint!

      4. Your much beloved homosexuality and transgender

        I love the fact that in some countries, including my own, people are free – at least from state persecution – to make those choices, yes. Presumably that makes you uncomfortable. Your problem. Unless you make it someone else’s.

    4. I understand arguments both ways. My current thinking is that making Puttin as unpopular in his own country as possible is probably the most constructive thing possible. If Russians can’t do what they love because of his actions, support for him and this war could wain quickly. It may be the quickest way to end it. Sports globally could feasibly help save many innocent lives if they ban Russian participation for the wars duration. I’m aware it’s a very harsh opinion but peace is worth some hurt feelings.

      1. If Russians can’t do what they love because of his actions, support for him and this war could wain quickly. It may be the quickest way to end it.

        Just how much support does he actually have, @antznz?
        It’s not a country where such support is actually required to do what they’re doing.

        And who’s feeling are getting hurt? Does Putin actually care about Russian sportspeople? Or even the general Russian public?
        It’s always the innocent people who suffer most.

        1. It is true that the Russian Government isn’t under the same polling pressure as occurs in the Western democratic governments, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t need support. As this starts impacting both those under him who may have ambitions at higher office, or just those oligarchs who now find themselves impacted by sanctions in them international ambitions (British football and F1 racing both examples), he may lose support of those around him who support him in power. This I think is the power of these types of restrictions.

        2. They Russian people aren’t necessarily innocent. At some point someone will have to stand up to Putin and it may as well be the Russian people. Why should Ukrainians or Poles or any one else have to suffer for Putin. This is in the end up to the Russians. Ostracize them completely.

      2. Agreed. These are important symbolic gestures. Good people, good Russian people, are going to be ‘unfairly’ impacted by sanctions and bans. However, the gravity of what’s going on can not be overstated and such steps lend moral support to the Ukrainians who desperately need all the help they can get. What’s going on right now is much bigger than sport.

        1. Surprisingly, the IOC is one step ahead of the FIA. Russia and Belarus participation had been suspended. All the athletes have been banned from competition. I’m not quite sure why people don’t understand what’s going on here. Europe is at war. Any Russian participation in international sports in untenable right now. This is much bigger than sport.

          1. US invaded dozens of countries, never is an american athlete blocked from participating. just another example the west believes they are above everybody else. and yes i live in the west.

            1. I think you are oversimplifying what is happening in Ukraine. For instance the Invasion of Afghanistan was after the September 11th attacks were ordered from Afghan territory and supported by the Afghan Government of the time. The first Gulf war was due to a mad dictator invading it’s neighbour. The second gulf war was indeed a little more contentious but was in fact caused ultimately by a mad dictator pretending he had WMDs and threatening to use them. The fact that they did not ultimately exist is a bit like someone using a Banana under their jumper to rob a bank. They want everyone to believe they have a gun so if they end up getting shot as a result it is their own fault for being so convincing.

              Also there has never been a point where America or any other of it’s allies declared Iraq never to really exist and stating that it belonged to America.

              Ukraine on the other hand was a peaceful country, minding it’s own business and has been invaded twice by a mad dictator for no reason other than he felt like it… He also seems to think the country has never existed and is rightfully part of Russia. Then he threatens do have the whole world destroyed if he does not get what he wants.

            2. Name the dozens please?

            3. Shall i help Afghanistan, Iraq (x2) Panama, Vietham (is questiable as it was no war but were ask for help by the gouverment of that time) Korea (UN) Germany and Japan but i think that is it……

    5. Of course – ban/punish all innocent people simply because they were born in a certain place.
      It’s all their own fault, obviously… Should have chosen to be born somewhere else instead.

      1. In this instance, yes it is his dad’s fault for being one of the 27 important Oligarchs of Russia. Mazepin Sr. is one of Putin’s closest allies in western market place.

        These kind of actions maybe harsh on an individual level but it will pressure the government. People of Russia won’t want to live without any connection to rest of the world so peoples displeasure will lead to a change.

        1. Nikita drives the F1 car – his father Dmitry is the Oligarch.
          Heredity doesn’t work in reverse!

          These kind of actions maybe harsh on an individual level but it will pressure the government.

          We are not individual people, we are all just numbers to be used to influence governments?
          What an utterly inhumane viewpoint. How terribly sad.

          1. Heredity works here in that; Nikita is using his dads money to race. If he was good enough to do it by himself his entire team wouldn’t have been in Blue White and Red.

            I apologise, from the comments on this thread I see that you are most likely Russian and actions of your government has a direct impact on your life. I am sorry that most of us can’t relate with the situation as much as you do and of course the impact of it on you. It must be difficult for you. However, from an outsiders perspective you would understand that everyone is doing their utmost to de-escalate the situation and put pressure on Russian government. Also, you would also understand that while the Russian government is in a war/invasion situation I imagine people of Ukraine and Russia’s least worries are who get to drive an F1 car for sporting events.

            1. Mazepin isn’t the first person in F1 largely due to family money, Alberto – nor will he be the last.
              Every driver on the grid got there and stays there due to somebody’s money, regardless of their talent.

              It must be difficult?! Is that as sympathetic as it gets?
              Whatever – no, I’m not Russian – but I am human. As are we all, regardless of which side of the border, or even which continent, we happen to be on.

              As to the sport – what does it matter if a sportsperson comes from Russia? Are they less deserving of competing just because their country’s leader is a maniac? How unfair.
              Do you think Putin cares if Mazepin doesn’t race a car? Do you think he cares if some people can’t play a game of football?
              Oh, that’s right, I forgot. They aren’t people – but just political pawns for everyone to use against Russia.

            2. S – unfair is watching Mazepin’s useless driving and having to remember Formula 1 is supposed to be an elite sport. However, we’re discussing effective measures to prevent mass civilian slaughter.

            3. Mazepin has equal right to be in F1 as everyone else, @david-br. You don’t have to like him, but his presence doesn’t make F1 any more or less ‘elite.’ ‘Pay drivers’ have always been on the grid – the history you reference has had fields consisting of both a higher quantity and lesser skilled drivers than him.
              No point mentioning some other famous ‘pay drivers’ and other heavily backed but unproven drivers who just happened to become multiple world champions, I guess? Money is money, regardless of whether it’s attracted through talent and success, or through fortunate circumstances. It has never been and will never be a poor person’s activity.

              And on the scale of effective ways to end a modern war, banning some innocent and unconnected sportspeople rates about as highly throwing shoes at the country’s leader.
              It does punish them unnecessarily though – assuming you actually consider them to be equal human beings to you and I. Discrimination based on nationality is just as unacceptable as discrimination based on gender or sexuality.

            4. S – You missed the point that ‘unfair’ is a complaint on a different level to intent to murder en masse. Is banning Russians from international sports an effective measure? I’d rather we tried to find out. The point is that these measures cannot be ignored by Russian state media. Same goes for flight bans and the run on the rouble. They will probably generate domestic discontent – especially when most Russians do not perceive Ukrainians as an enemy to be attacked, much the opposite. Putin’s regime is more likely to back down if its domestic support starts to crumble. And you want to know why? Because China won’t want to see Putin’s regime collapse and western democracy flourish in Russia. That would end up with China globally encircled. So expect some ‘advice’ arriving from Beijing.

            5. S – as a basic communicative measure and an indication of good faith, now you’re here all the time, can you not sign up for an account? It’s free. That way your tagging actually works (you probably don’t realise it doesn’t if you’re not signed up). And it means you’re less likely to be a sock puppet (though users can always try to work that out through similarity of writing styles, topics, etc.).

        2. In this instance, yes it is his dad’s fault for being one of the 27 important Oligarchs of Russia. Mazepin Sr. is one of Putin’s closest allies in western market place.

          @Alberto I’ve seen this claim a couple of times but can find no serious evidence to support it. He has a wiki page..

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Mazepin

          ..that makes no mention of Putin and in fact places him as one of the more generous oligarchs, if that isn’t a bit of an oxymoron. Genuine question, what is the evidence for this close connection to Putin? Is it for simply being in the same photo as Putin?

    6. Imagine we had to ban any competitors who’s govenrments commited war crimes? Basically everyone would be banned, especially US citizens given just what happened during my lifetime (Iraq war >1M people dead, Afghanistan, Syria, Lybia, Yemen, Cuba, etc). What a crazy world.

      I dont have anything against the russian people, or any people for that matter. We have more common with Iranian or Russian people than we have woth the elites, governments and coroprations that are just using everyone to get more power and profits. This hysteria i see around me is more scary than anything.

      Its like hateweek in 1984.

      1. I do hope you see the difference between past war crimes (there probably isn’t a single country on earth which did not ever commit any of those) and committing them right now, escalating things, purposely stepping up the firing on civilian housing areas etc right this moment @vjanik.

        I do think many here would agree that should count for Saudi Arabia just as well (doing so in Yemen). But I am not sure Yemen has a sporting authority/FIA member organisation to ask the FIA to do this.

        1. i fail to see the difference

        2. sorry, i can’t see the difference.

        3. Why weren’t British drivers banned while the UK was part of an invading and then occupying army in Afghanistan and the. Iraq (ultimately leading to an estimated 500,000+ deaths)? If Mazepin deserves to be banned then by the same token Anthony Davidson, George Russell, Jolyon Palmer, Justin Wilson, Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton & Paul Di Resta should never have been allowed in an F1 car, and David Coulthard, Eddie Irvine & Jenson Button should have had their careers cut short by being banned… or do we not hold British drivers to the same standard as drivers of other nationalities when their governments invade and slaughter the populations of sovereign nations? The fact that we don’t think Russia is like the UK politically or whether Mazepin is any good, or even whether his Dad’s money bought the seat are all UTTERLY IRRELEVANT. The FIA didn’t ban drivers of other nationalities when their governments invaded sovereign nations, they shouldn’t suddenly apply a rule now simply because he is Russian

          1. Afghanistan was the agressor attacking a nato country, Iraq was a agressor and by the UN oked to liberate Kuweit, second one was because he had Mass destrution weapons and treathen to us them (he hadn’t but convince the world he had them) so why had British drivers to be banned?

      2. Although civilians were killed by errors in air strikes etc in Iraq. By far the most people who were killed were killed by militant insurgents supported by Iran… So saying the US killed >1Million people is entirely incorrect. Now if you were to say Iran killed those people they you would be correct. Iran is also making sure people die in Yemen and in Palestine.

        1. Not one of the people killed by insurgents in Iraq would have been if the US and UK hadn’t invaded. In WW2 the Nazi’s called the French Resistance ‘insurgents’, the FACT is that most of the insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq were nationals of those countries who considered that they were fighting to defend their homeland from an invading/occupying force, making them in every sense a resistance, regardless of which outside nation supports them… numeroust outside nations are now supporting the Ukraine, it doesn’t make their fight against the invading Russian army any less legitimate in any way.

          1. That was not true at all. Insurgents had been in Iraq before the Allies entered the country and they had been since the Iran-Iraq war. Some of these insurgents were actually not insurgents at all and were in fact Iranian special forces. Others were either Iranian nationals, Jihadists from other countries and some were indeed Iraqi. However these people were not just targeting Allied military personnel. They were specifically also purposefully blowing up civilian populations, taking children to use as human shields etc. To say that they would not have killed anyone if the Allies had not entered the country is total tosh. Iran was simply trying to cause as much destruction to both Iraq and Allied forces as possible.

            Not to mention that Saddam had been killing his own people in their 100s of thousands…

    7. Putin is killing people living in Ukraine who “borned in that certain place” quoting you. Why do they need to be punished by war and shelling and killing?

      We must use every possible action to stop Putin and that includes sanctioning Russian business, trade, oligarchs and up to ordinary people. Currently only Russians have the power to stop Putin. Putin can stop the war any second and get out of Ukraine. This would make life more normal for Russians too. It’s up to Russians and Putin.

      1. Putin is killing people living in Ukraine who “borned in that certain place” quoting you. Why do they need to be punished by war and shelling and killing?

        If that’s a reply to me @f1lauri, then you’re absolutely correct. The Ukraine public shouldn’t be involved in any way either.
        If Putin wants a fight, he should be duking it out with the Ukraine government, and nobody else. This is government VS government, like most other conflicts are. But sadly, innocent people from all sides are the ones being compromised, injured and killed

        Sanctions etc. don’t really hurt the government. They’re well prepared because they knew they would come.
        They do hurt all the ‘ordinary’ people who rely on that trade though – farmers, factory owners and workers, exporters, importers, and so on. People who didn’t want a war at all, but are now being punished for it just because they happen to be Russian.
        And that’s without considering all the suppliers outside of Russia who trade with them. People in your country, and mine. We all suffer from these sanctions in our own economies too.

        Currently only Russians have the power to stop Putin.

        I disagree. The vast, vast majority have no more power than you or I, and it is they who are the ones who suffer most.

        1. So exactly how do you want people to resist Putin then? Do we just sit back an allow him to do what he wants? Do we go to war with him (In which case again Civilians will be the ones bearing the brunt)? Or do we have him killed (an act of war)? Unfortunately the Russian people do have a choice if they want to be free of him and the suffering he puts them through. It is a choice many nations have had to make at some point, and that is to rise up as one and oust him. It is possible but it is only possible if the people have the will to do so. The sanctions and sports bans affect normal people but they show those normal people that their leader cares nothing about their wellbeing.

        2. This is all on the Russian “ordinary” people. A general strike will do the trick. Instead the general strike is being done from the outside since the Russian people don’t seem to have the will to stand up to their government. Weak people costing the rest of the world. Their government is a reflection of themselves. They are certainly less innocent than the Ukrainians.

          1. Do you see American/Arabian/French/English/Dutch etc stand up against the war crimes they commit/commited?

            Why punish people who have nothing to do with it?

            1. There were huge anti-war protests in the UK, US and other western countries against the second Iraq war.

              Plus again I will say once more. Putin has made it clear that he does not believe Ukraine actually should exist! That is not merely a foreign incursion. We have also seen that civilian areas are seemingly targeted on purpose. There were artillery strikes on a large city last night. There was zero reason for Russia to invade Ukraine. There was no threat to Russia. It was just a decision taken by a very unstable Putin while his ministers and generals looked baffled and frightened.

    8. Ok, now this is too much..

      1. Explain how this is too much. Please.

    9. I thought the idea was to not mix (geo-)politics with sport this year?

      1. What gave you that idea? With 1/3 of the F1 calendar being propaganda races much of the season was destined to be political. Throw in the largest aggressive combat operation in Europe since WWII and what would you expect?

    10. He shouldn’t be driving in F1 anyway – he’s a paid driver whose family wealth has unfortunately fallen on the wrong side of a political event. Would anyone actually miss him ?

    11. Banning a driver due to his nationality. No. That’s wrong.
      But in this case, with all the sanctions and such, Russian businesses will not be able to put their branding and funding into things like Motorsport or will be forced to pull out due to shortages on their own.
      In this case, a Russian driver might see all of his funding disappear and thus keeping him from competing. Though it might be unfair for someone that is actually a good driver, Mazepin never deserved the seat and in his case, I hope that the removal of his sponsorship and funding from the team costs him his seat.

      1. Correct, if his backers can’t pay i am afraid Mazepin is going be dropped this is not personal but business as normal for F1.

    12. I don’t agree in principle. What’s happening is no direct fault of his own. Now the company backing him that’s another story. But I wouldn’t ban someone from competing just because they’re russian born.

    13. This would not just affect Mazepin, but potentially any Russian driver in any FIA-sanctioned event. I think Smolyar is due to drive in F3 again this season, and I believe Kvyat is supposed to be driving in WEC. No doubt there will be others also affected.

    14. 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.

    15. Maybe a little harsh (God knows I wouldn’t want to be judged by what my government does) but in any case I’m not sure that’s necessary. The sanctions against certain oligarchs are probably enough to limit the funds for any “connected” drivers (I believe SMP Racing, which backs many professional drivers, will be badly hit). Presumably anyone with links is already going to have their season scuppered without needing an outright ban.

    16. My personal view is the question should not be “should the FIA ban all Russian drivers” and really should be “should the FIA ban all drivers who have links to Russian oligarchs”. There’s a big difference between being a Russian driver by an accident of birth (eg, you are there on merit and just happen to be Russian) and being a Russian driver who is specifically there because of the wealth and power of people close to Putin.

      Separately, the “whataboutism” in this thread is ridiculous. Just because other countries have done bad things in the past doesn’t mean we should ignore when someone else launches a hostile invasion. I bet many people who follow F1 (or are closely involved in it) are uncomfortable with some of the countries F1 goes to. Taking a strong stance on Russia should open the debate on what else the FIA will accept.

    17. Ukraine is fighting for the freedom as we know it in western countries. Any action to show the psychopath from Kremlin that his actions against Ukraine are out of place is correct. The world must not accept such lunatics like Putler and their actions against humanity! Many countries will ban Russians from entering anyway. But if FIFA and other sports can do it then it is absolutely correct for FIA to impose a ban like this.

    18. Well with the IOC now calling for all sporting bodies to cut ties with Russian and Belarusian affiliates, and ban their athletes from international competition, these calls will only increase. Personally, I’d rather see them continue to compete, but with a similar “no Russian representation” idea that applied to Mazepin last year (but applied to everyone across all categories, not just World Championships, because last year, Schwartzman was allowed to compete under the Russian flag because F2 is not a World Championship). That way they can still compete, but have no official affiliation to “aggressive power[s]”.

      I can understand the concept of preventing those backed by Oligarchs from racing, but I think in reality that would be much more difficult to police in practice.

    19. Should of happened after MH17, but better late than never….

    20. Banning a country from participating and using sport for propaganda purposes is one thing. But banning a person because of their nationality is an entirely different and wrong thing to do.
      No international sporting events should be held in Russia or Belarus and their sportspeople not be allowed to participate under the national flag, until all foreign troops have been withdrawn from Ukraine.

    21. Fifa and Uefa ban all Russian clubs and national teams.

      Football’s world governing body Fifa and Europe’s governing body Uefa have suspended Russian clubs and national teams from all competitions.

      Although it isn’t the fault of the players or participants it is a sanction on Russia as a whole. Plenty of Russians do not agree with Putin and are demonstrating. This will give them even more to complain and demonstrate about.

      1. @andyfromsandy
        and Israel is allowed to participate in FIFA/UEFA competitions :)

    22. I guess this comes as no surprise considering that the International Olympic Committee has recommended banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from all sports competitions, and seeing the FIFA being under the spotlight for not suspending/banning the Russian team from football/soccer competitions.

      To be honest (and in my own opinion), I do tend to agree with the principle of such decisions as I firmly believe that, in view of the latest events, measures in all fields (sports including) must be taken against the State of Russia, despite undoubtedly not representative of its people, at least as symbolic measures.

      But it only makes sense for sports where the teams or competitors are playing to represent the country. Taking soccer for example, I totally agree with banning Russia from the world cup games. It’s not as if the players themselves will be much impacted by this measure, since most if not all players are playing in national clubs where they earn their money (in addition to sponsorships).

      It makes a lot less sense in individual sports such as motorsports, or let’s say tennis, where sportsmen play individually and do not appear to represent a country in particular. Do F1 fans watch F1 to support a nation? A vast majority do not… Do F1 fans watch races to support car maker brands ? More likely… For sure, nationality may play a part for some fans, but motorsports is not a competition between nations.

    23. While I do agree with not displaying Russian flag etc., taking measures against drivers is not required.

      You can’t blame individuals for acts of government.

      They did that in WWII with Japanese internment camps. That was horrible.

    24. I can agree with temporarily barring a sporting team that represents a country, but not with the banning of individual athletes who represent themselves.

      1. @neilosjames A pretty difficult argument to sustain given, say, the Orange Army that follows round Max, or the national idolisation of Ayrton Senna in Brazil.

    25. I get banning “national” teams from international competition. However, banning Russian athletes and clubs is too far. Many of the sanctions imposed by governments already will make it hard for various athletes to naturally compete anyways. Especially those whom are backed by Russian companies/sponsors.

    26. Russia has invaded a European country and is bombing its citizens under the claim from Russia’s leader that it shouldn’t exist and should be part of Russia. Even though the population disagrees. Frankly I couldn’t care less if Russian sportspeople find being banned from international competition a bit ‘unfair.’ I want to see the war stopped, and ideally non-violently, while admiring the armed resistance of Ukrainians immensely, before it escalates beyond control. For all those making comparisons with US-instigated wars, Saudi Arabia etc. please note that Putin’s war objective makes absolutely no sense. He claims Ukrainians are fellow Russians and is willing to kill them until they agree. There is no scenario in which this has a good outcome unless Putin is stopped from outside pressure. (Personally I think this will ultimately come from China forcing him to back down but we need to get to the point where China finally cedes to western pressure to act first.)

    27. I just can’t wait to see all the cars and drivers sporting their #IStandWithUkraine stickers in Bahrain!

    28. I thought other sporting regulations (like FIFA) are allowing Russians to participate but without the flag, national anthem, and any national symbols. I think that’s the most sensible thing to do

      1. As others have mentioned an individual may not represent the political tendencies of his country, and sometimes he may.
        Can we say, for this scenario, that if mazepin publicly supported the invasion then he should be banned?
        For the record his comment is the most anti-war you can get for someone in his position, without risking their life

    Comments are closed.