“Unfair” to bar Russian competitors from sports over war in Ukraine – Kvyat

2022 F1 season

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Russian competitors should not be barred from motor racing over the country’s war with Ukraine, former Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat has said.

An extraordinary meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council is being held today after Ukraine’s motorsport federation called on it to cut Russia out of international motor racing following its invasion of the country six days ago.

Other global sports have already taken steps against Russia. Its national and club football teams have been barred from competitions including the forthcoming World Cup. The International Olympic Committee, which formally recognises the FIA, yesterday recommended Russian athletes be barred from competitions as well as their Belarusian counterparts, whose country aided the military action.

Kvyat became Alpine’s reserve driver last year after losing his AlphaTauri race seat at the end of 2020. He is due to race in the World Endurance Championship with G-Drive this year.

He urged an end to the conflict in a social media post today. “I really hope for a peaceful solution to this situation in Ukraine, and that we can all live in peace,” said Kvyat. “Hopefully all parties can find a solution by sitting together and through a respectful dialogue.

“It horrifies me to see two brotherhood nations in a conflict. 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.”

However Kvyat insisted it was wrong for sporting organisations to bar Russians from international competitions.

“I also would like to highlight and address all sports federations across the world including [the] 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 its principle – the unity and peace,” he said.

“Who else if not us sports people will help to glue nations together in the upcoming times?”

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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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141 comments on ““Unfair” to bar Russian competitors from sports over war in Ukraine – Kvyat”

  1. ‘Hopefully all parties can fine a peaceful solution’………….. sorry Danny, only one ‘party’ is the aggressor, so for the peaceful solution to take place Russia must back down and move their troops out of Ukraine. That IS the peaceful solution. But because your ‘cough’ President appears to have gone barking mad, putting these kinds of sanctions on your country to isolate it from the rest of the world seems to be the only way to get the message across without the whole planet falling into war, and Russian sports starts not being able to compete is, at this time, collateral damage.

    1. Wade (@wadels1510)
      1st March 2022, 14:20

      I get the angle you’re coming from Gubstar but the issue comes in with the fact that Putin won’t care about the collateral damage of a F1 driver not being able to compete. World powers have had many years to understand Putin’s rationale and I don’t believe that banning Russian F1 drivers is going to solve much at all. Where there’s financial implications for Russia, that’s a different story, but ultimately this is just ruining someone’s career to prove a point that, in the end, won’t ever get across.

      1. @wadels1510 “ruining someone’s career” or killing innocent people? If “ruining someone’s career” can save single life, ruin them all!!

        1. How is banning all Russian athletes going to save a single life?
          Ruining the Russian economy might stop the war. Banning athletes won’t do a thing.

          1. Now I imagine “Let’s allow athletes from Nazi Germany to compete in some events in 1942….” right…
            or how about USA-Japan sporting events after Pearl Harbour? “Oh it’s sport, it’s not politics”

          2. @paeschli @wadels1510 Every single Russian is responsible on some level for what’s happening in Ukraine. Everybody who had a russian passport should have held / and still should keep their leader accountable for what he / she is doing. Putin has been a dictator for over 20 years… what have these people done to remove him from power? NOTHING! Some protests here and there, that’s not enough. They have been riding Putin’s wave because it benefited them and now the world is finally putting their foot down. They aren’t doing it to Putin, because he’s got billions already. This is done to the people of Russia who stand inactive. So absolutely ban all Russians from all countries… they need to put their monster down because this monster will kill us all with his red button. He is sick, there is no diplomacy to be had. Once his removal from power by his own people will suffice.

          3. @paeschli There is no point discussing anything with #putinsimpatizer

          4. Noframingplease (@)
            2nd March 2022, 18:15

            @ Patrick, welcome in the real world Patrick. Fortunately mister Bakk has given you the right answer.

        2. Wade (@wadels1510)
          1st March 2022, 20:06

          I once again, understand your concern. But think about it this way, with Putin having the mindset that he does, do you really think he’ll kill any less people if Kvyat and Mazepin are out ? In my opinion, that answer is no. Hence why I say banning Russian drivers is not going to solve the issue.

          1. @wadels1510 ABSOLUTELY! But not in the way you think. NATO can’t stop Putin, Ukraine maybe can but at high price of lives, one Russian can’t stop Putin, 1000 Russians can’t stop Putin but what about 1 Million? what about 10 Millions? That is why Russians with any significant social following are critical for stopping this war by showing resistance and organising protests… yes thousands will get beaten and arrested but that is the lowest price of all available options to dethrone Putin.

    2. Drivers (former or not) don’t need to think as we do. That is their right. That for me is the end of story. I won’t like him, but I don’t see how anyone can lose a job over it. That’s not what democracy is. The rights are for everyone, as long as they respect the law. They can vote for whoever they want. Same as the Brits voted for Blair who bombarded a European country for three months and no need to speak of other interventions because only Europe matters here. What about Saudi invasion in Yemen? We just got ourselves a brand new Saudi GP. Hypocrites everywhere, you people are terrible.

      1. I would say the hypocrisy is a result of racism. Two different approaches to the same problem (refugees) depending on race. The Ukrainian crisis have sadly exposed the truth about unspoken racism hidden under the values of freedom, democracy, humanity… Major western media outlets (CBS news, Al-Jazeera English, Telegraph…) have aired racist views live in the last days. No one seems to be shocked either. Even politicians at the highest levels have rode the racist waive.

        The Bulgarian PM went to say “These are not the refugees we are used to; these people are Europeans, These people are intelligent. They are educated people…. This is not the refugee wave we have been used to, people we were not sure about their identity, people with unclear pasts, who could have been even terrorists.”

        It has been reported that Africans, Middle Easterns and South Asians fleeing Ukraine are struggling to cross borders and priority was given to the Ukrainians.


        1. I’ve heard the same from reporters and commenters. It’s almost funny to hear Europeans saying that killing civilians and wars of aggression and massive dislocations of people are an alien concept in Europe. Europe sadly has excelled in these areas. We haven’t learned and ignoring the past doesn’t help.

          1. @dmw
            “It’s almost funny to hear Europeans saying that killing civilians and wars of aggression and massive dislocations of people are an alien concept in Europe. Europe sadly has excelled in these areas.”

            You’re just showing your ignorance here. Europe is the most technologically advanced civilisation, therefore as a result our wars have been the most “explosive” but also the most well documented. In the end we have created democracy and the most stable and prosperous continent on the planet that people from everywhere else flock to.

            When Ukrainian soldiers catch their invader’s soldiers captive, they give them medical help and even let them call their families. That’s a level of civilization and level of humanity not seen on other continents.
            For comparison, you go and research conflicts in Asia or Africa for comparison, e.g. the massacres in Rwanda in 1994 where Hutu civilians (!) raided Tutsi villages with machetes and slaughtered them with African levels of violence (like ripping unborn babies from pregnant women’s bellies with knives, cutting people’s knee-caps with machetes so that they can’t run away and then slicing them alive). You go research that, mate, to get some perspective.

          2. Noframingplease (@)
            2nd March 2022, 18:25

            Hey Dave, nice you are referring to facts like they happened yesterday. Every country has is dark side, but europe had for decades no active role in wars. It doesn’t help to start a discussion like europe is still the colonial power.

        2. @tifoso1989
          Everything the Bulgarian MP said is correct. The Ukrainians are not some people from an alien continent and culture, they are Europeans and belong to Europe’s largest ethnic group – the Slavic people.
          We, Poles e.g., help them because they as Slavs are our blood brothers. Simple as that.
          What do you not understand about Europeans wanting to help other Europeans more than foreign people from regions of the world whose cultures are in opposition to our own?
          Do you love every woman you see on the street as much as your own mother?

        3. Noframingplease (@)
          2nd March 2022, 18:33

          @tifoso1989 Why picking up the racism card when the truth is maybe a bit less complicated. Ukrain is the backyard of europe. Sorry that we pay a bit more attention for troubles in our own part of the world cuze the consequences are also mostly for europe.

          1. @nofanboysplease
            I’m not picking up the race card but sorry if I have a different view on humanity than you do. Humanity cannot be divided, any human being deserve to have human rights. Period. By your logic, it’s fine to abuse non-European people. Then why complain if Putin is using the same excuse to abuse and kill Ukrainians. Any abuse of human rights must be named, shamed and sanctioned. If you don’t agree with that you’re free but don’t complain when it happens to you or to your beloved ones.

        4. Yes, racisms certainly played a role there, and is likely to play up again and again @tifoso1989, since you posted this a few days ago, let us also note that instead of the usual “nah, not true, you are making this up, this is not us” reaction we have become all too used to hearing from most governments when such issues come up, the Ukrainians have actually reacted very well to this.

          Their ministry of foreign affairs contacted people this happened to, they contacted their embassies but most importantly they took steps, made video messages and concrete contact places where anyone who finds themselves in such a situation can call and get support. All of that is a positive I have not seen in hardly any instance before from any country.

          1. @bascb
            Thanks for your comment. Nothing but respect to Ukraine’s brave response to the issue of foreigners struggling to leave Ukraine. They have already showed bravery facing the Russian aggression and are resisting with everything they have. That’s the kind of behaviour expected to face what some idiots come up in terms of racism.

          2. You are welcome. I myself was greatly relieved as well as impressed by the solid reaction from Ukraine, once again. I can only hope that this positive and inspiring spirit holds as long as we all can muster now, sadly we will need a lot of it in the coming weeks, months and possibly years @tifoso1989.

        5. Noframingplease (@)
          4th March 2022, 18:13

          @tifoso1989 did I mentioned things about human right etc? No, so please don’t fill in the gaps with lessons in humanity, cuze we don’t have a different view about that. My comment was about your simplification of the ukraine situation, and the double standard europe plays in that. Calling racism as the main problem is a too big simplification about the darker side of human being. People are manipulated by propaganda to grow hate against certain groups etc. Racism isn’t the basis of wars but an instrument for totalitarian leaders to achive their goal. With propaganda they give people argumentation for their miserable situation. Hitler did that with the germans, Trump blamed the mexicans for everything.

      2. People in Ukraine are dying and we’re supposed to feel for Danny not being able to compete? I don’t think so.

        (Let’s not compare this to Serbia please…)

      3. You will find that you have been miseducated about what democracy is or isn’t. (likely among other things)

        And if you looked, you may find yourself part of a demos in need of some good old democracy, if indeed you are unhappy with the events of the past week and willing to direct your frustration at the person responsible.

      4. @Dean “Same as the Brits voted for Blair who bombarded a European country for three months and no need to speak of other interventions because only Europe matters here.” Serbia should have been bombarded much earlier and much harder and that would save lives in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Kosovo.

        1. Nikos (@exeviolthor)
          2nd March 2022, 5:38


          You use the same rhetoric as Putin does.
          Also comparing Kosovo to Croatia and Bosnia is ignorant.

          1. @exeviolthor Go f…yourself you maggöt. There is zero diference between Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Kosovo and that is Serbian politic of expansion on countries that wanted independence. I know that from 1st hand since I lived Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Kosovo wars personally.

          2. Nikos (@exeviolthor)
            2nd March 2022, 9:33


            I guess that referring to people as maggots makes it easier for you to talk about bombing them.

            All of the cases you mention above are exactly what Putin is doing to Ukraine and previously did to Georgia.
            He had a “referendum” and then proclaimed that he helps them gain their independence.

            What Serbia did was wrong and what Putin does is also wrong, but it is the actions of the US and their coalition that is giving him leverage to invade Ukraine.

            Finally you need to realize that wars start when both sides think that they are right.

          3. @exeviolthor Yes, people like you, who try to rationalization actions for “big serbia” and “big rusia”, I find really easy squashed as maggots.

          4. Nikos (@exeviolthor)
            2nd March 2022, 10:37

            I am not rationalizing any actions by either of them. I only said that you use the same rhetoric as Putin. Calling me a maggot actually proves this.
            Even if what I said is wrong, when you participate in a forum you need to expect that not everyone will agree with you. Hurtling insults at them does not strengthen you position.

          5. @exeviolthor “I am not rationalizing any actions by either of them.” I told you, you know nothing about serbians and russians or are one off them, so shut the f…. up!

          6. Nikos (@exeviolthor)
            2nd March 2022, 19:19


            Given that you can fight me only with written insults can you explain to me in what way are you different to Putin please?
            The only difference between you and him is that he has an army at his disposal whereas you only have your keyboard.

          7. @exeviolthor Did I hurt your fragile little putin loving ego? Shut the f…. up!

          8. Nikos (@exeviolthor)
            3rd March 2022, 3:01


            Thank you for this constructive feedback.
            I suggest that you see a therapist.

          9. @exeviolthor Shut the f…. up, you putin lackey!

          10. Nikos (@exeviolthor)
            3rd March 2022, 7:15


            This is my last reply in this thread as you obviously do not want to have a meaningful conversation.

            Try reading what I have writren and you will see that I do not support Putin’s war.
            On top of that, though, I do not support any war at all. My original reply was to your post that bombing the Serbians harder and earlier would have saved lives.

            Bombing by its nature cannot save lives. It only kills more innocents. It is exactly what we see happening in Ukraine. Can’t you see this?

          11. @exeviolthor No, bombing serbia much earlier would prevent war in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Kosovo, because one maggot by the name slobodan milosevic (backed by russia) wanted big serbia… You have zero knowledge about the issue!!! So one again, shut the f… up.

    3. why did this war start?

      1. @floodo1 Beats me.

      2. EGO, and a lust for power.

      3. Tzar put in want to restore the former tzar reich.
        Democracy is only meant for voting on the tzar.
        That’s the Russian concept of democracy.
        But the people do not want this but seem powerless.

      4. David Starkey has a go at answering that question.


        1. This is on point. Thanks for sharing.

      5. some racing fan
        2nd March 2022, 5:59

        Because Ukraine wanted to join NATO and Putin doesn’t want a NATO country with a decent-sized economy like (potentially) Ukraine bordering Russia. And Finland isn’t part of NATO.

        1. Norway is though. As is Poland

    4. I luv chciken
      1st March 2022, 17:09

      Sorry Danny. You’re trying to straddle the fence and it isn’t working. There is only one aggressor here. Make some definitive comments. Your statement of omission, brands you as a supporter of Russia’s policies
      of world domination.

    5. Danny would greatly benefit his argument if he condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    6. My main problem is the lack of condemnation in Kvyat’s words. I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to punish all Russian athletes. Make them race without the Russian flag sure. Forbid sponsorships from Russian companies linked to the Kremlin.

      Still, I don’t like Kvyat’s statement. It feels very self-interested. For a guy that could comfortably retire with the money he’s made, it just feels tone-deaf to declare the unfairness of a Russian athlete ban without strongly condemning what his country is doing. Maybe he needs to be careful because he has family in Russia and can’t really speak out. But if that’s the case, maybe say nothing then.

    7. I am sure you were equally potent in condemning countries other than Russia for invading other countries. Here’s the list of countries that USA and NATO invaded since the WWII:
      China 1945-46

      Korea 1950-53

      China 1950-53

      Guatemala 1954

      Indonesia 1958

      Cuba 1959-60

      Guatemala 1960

      Belgian Congo 1964

      Guatemala 1964

      Dominican Republic 1965-66

      Peru 1965

      Laos 1964-73

      Vietnam 1961-73

      Cambodia 1969-70

      Guatemala 1967-69

      Lebanon 1982-84

      Grenada 1983-84

      Libya 1986

      El Salvador 1981-92

      Nicaragua 1981-90

      Iran 1987-88

      Libya 1989

      Panama 1989-90

      Iraq 1991

      Kuwait 1991

      Somalia 1992-94

      Bosnia 1995

      Iran 1998

      Sudan 1998

      Afghanistan 1998

      Yugoslavia – Serbia 1999

      Afghanistan 2001

      Libya 2011

      Iraq and Syria 2014 –

      Somalia 2011 –

      Iran 2020 –

      Were you equally loud in defending their rights as well?

      1. You make a point for sure and one I agree with, buy you cannot seriously be including Bosnia in that list – there was an incontrovertible genocide happening and if anything the Western powers didn’t do enough early enough @sermilan besides which, also listing the countries that Russia/the Soviet Union and others invaded in that time span would be a less tendentious way to go about it.

      2. Your list is not correct or you wanted to list conflicts? you know the UN isn’t Nato right?

        The first entry China 1945-1946 has nothing todo with USA and Nato but with the Communist and Nationals civil war and the Japanese surrender……

        Now i could answer every entry but you think the west has something to do with all conflicts

    8. Gubstar – Did you advocate the banning of all British and American sports people because of their Governments’ illegal war of aggression against Iraq?

      1. I don’t advocate the banning of any athlete. My retort was just a response to Danny’s quote, giving an explanation as to why they were considering it and highlighting the only peaceful solution to this mess. The ‘whataboutism’ that seems to be rife amongst all the comments just shows the ignorance on this topic. And just for the record, being British, I am all for Tony Blair and George Bush going to prison for the war crimes they committed in the early 2000’s. Just as Putin should face the same for what’s happening right now.

  2. Innocent people should not die. A autonomous country shouldn’t be attacked from another country. Or is this fair?
    The russian citizens, which Daniil Kvyat is one of, has elected the russian president. So they all are responsible, don’t they?

    1. And western countries killed 1000s of innocent civilians in Iraq over imaginary weapons of mass destruction. Without any approval of the UN. So, basically did the same Russia does now. I don’t remember anyone was held responsible for that.

    2. I would hardly call him “elected”. Plus there’s been plenty of protests against Putin. Many didn’t, or didn’t want to, vote for him.

    3. Russia is not an actual democracy, so it doesn’t really mean this course is one with which a majority of Russians agree. That said, post-WW2 international laws and jurisprudence make it clear that soldiers, Russian or otherwise, have a right and indeed duty to disobey unlawful orders. Following orders is no excuse for participating in a war crime.

    4. ”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” All Russians have their part in this evil. We expect you to take care of this. Then you can resume to the rest of the peaceful world.

      1. So if tomorrow the President/Prime Minister of your country (wherever you’re from) decides to drop missiles on another country, you are responsible too, is it? Just like how all Americans are responsible for their country’s attack on Iraq under the Bush-propagated lie that there were weapons of mass destruction there? Get real. There was plenty of opposition from Russians to Putin’s actions as much as there were protests from Americans to Bush’s actions back then.

  3. Wade (@wadels1510)
    1st March 2022, 14:15

    I agree. Why must Russian drivers be punished for something that they have no control over and for something that Putin is not going to care about anyways? I understand the removal of the Russian GP as this has a financial benefit to Russia in a lot of senses but banning Russian drivers from racing in motorsport simply ruins their career to prove a point that isn’t going to get across to the person it was meant for anyways.

    1. Absolutely!

  4. Yeah, it’s super unfair that your leadership has caused you this. There’s no “two brotherhood nations in conflict,” there’s a one nation aggressively invading another nation, period.

    “Hopefully all parties can find a solution by sitting together and through a respectful dialogue.” is just the most tone-deaf of a response one can give while Ukranian’s are being slaughtered by the Russian army.

    This isn’t politics. This is a crime against humanity by Russia, Daniil.

    1. @sjaakfoo As well said as the other comments here on a similar vein, and I agree fully. Kvyat sounds to me like someone who doesn’t want to rock the boat for fear of reprisals towards himself and any family he still has in Russia.

    2. Fully agree. Everything that needs to be said, has been said, in your post.

    3. The only way Danny could sound any more entitled is if he would have thrown in a Trump style “so unfair” in there. Glad to see the back of these Russians.

    4. I don’t understand how saying Ukraine and Russia have historically been allies (two brotherhood nations) and hoping there won’t be any more blood shedding (hopefully all parties can find a solution by sitting together and through a respectful dialogue) is tone-deaf @sjaakfoo I think it’s the most sensible response someone having family in Russia can give.

      1. I don’t understand how saying Ukraine and Russia have historically been allies (two brotherhood nations)

        Thing is, they haven’t really @peaschli. The Soviet union subjected Ukraine in the 1930s. It allowed the Hlodomor to happen (some say made it happen to eradicate resistance). It then made Ukraine part of the soviet “empire” much as a colony. There is a reason the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians (I think it was over 80%) wanted to be a seperate country in the 1990s already.

        And after hearing Putin say things that effectively mean saying their culture does not exist, their state has no reason to exist and they need “denazification” and erasing from the map, there is EVERY reason to make stronger statements to oppose that view from the leader of your country. If it were my president (or my King/prime minister since I am Dutch) saying such things, I would either look at joining any form of protest and rejecting them in an election possible/within my means or try to move out ASAP.

        I know protesting in Russia is certainly not as easy and risk free as here, it is dangerous. But then, Kvyat is not in Russia. He has a platform, he has at least some means. And he could certainly say more than publish more or less the same generic statement of “worries and unhappy” that thousands of other russian sporters and sporting organisations have put out to try and avoid being banned without irking the russian regime at the same time.

    5. Using your logic, all the the citizens of the UK and the US should have been punished after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  5. I totally agree with him.
    What normal people or athletes have to do with the Brainiacs that rule them? I suppose all of this is huppening to make the people to protest to the dictator but as we all see at least in Russia there isnt any freedom to protest or anything.

    1. Are you blind? He’s spreading Russian propaganda by not calling it a war or Russian invasion. Screw him.

      1. I luv chicken
        1st March 2022, 17:16

        Thumbs up on your comment, Armchair Expert.

    2. A lot of these guys kowtow to Putin. Don’t want their pretty little worlds upset by taking a stand for what is right. Ban them all.

  6. petebaldwin (@)
    1st March 2022, 14:19

    “Who else if not us sports people will help to glue nations together in the upcoming times?”

    The time will come for that but there’s is no point in gluing something together with one hand whilst smashing it to pieces with the other. You have to put the hammer down before there’s any point in getting the glue out.

    Is it unfair that innocent people won’t be allowed to compete in sport for a while? Sure. Of course it is. Is it unfair that innocent people are having their homes destroyed and their family members killed? Yeah…. Pretty damn unfair.

    If you want the world to go back to normal and you want to resume playing sports with other nations, don’t appeal to the FIA or to the IOC. Appeal to Putin because he’s the one that can stop this.

    1. If you want the world to go back to normal and you want to resume playing sports with other nations, don’t appeal to the FIA or to the IOC. Appeal to Putin because he’s the one that can stop this.


      1. Agreed but is there any chance of that working? Not saying he shouldn’t try, but I just wonder if Kvyatt is appealing to FIA because he knows it is useless to appeal to Putin.

    2. Absolutely and well said

  7. Sincerely, it seems too much – will FIA also block access to Russian reporters/engineers?
    Although it can have a similar effect, it seems appropriate not do accept russian money.
    And how much back and further wiil FIA look to see if a given country made something bad as cause to bar drivers of such nationality? Depending on the scrutiny level, there should be very few “pure/benevolent” nationalities.

    1. The FIA doesn’t receive any money from engineers, so it is unlikely to have legal standing to specifically bar them from competition. Of course, travel restrictions will make it increasingly difficult for them to compete in Europe or countries allied with Europe.

      Reporters, on the other hand, could well be banned if they pay the FIA money (for example, because they have paddock passes), because the FIA may not be allowed to accept the money. However, this would likely be well below drivers on the list of restrictions because there isn’t really a global journalist campaigning group that has the power to impose that upon the FIA (the IOC can do it regarding drivers and competitors because the FIA has an association with the IOC).

    2. Those employees don’t have a relation with the FIA, whereas the drivers do (even if, technically, the teams are the ‘participants’). If a Russian driver ends up on the podium, the FIA would need to present the flag and anthem.

      Host countries can of course reject team members. I recall a story about an Iranian engineer from the Sauber team being unable to attend the US Grand Prix sometime around 2006.

  8. Oh, it’s a conflict between 2 countries, a situation in Ukraine… Not a war or invasion by Russia. Let me guess: does Kvyat also think mythical Nazis built holiday resorts in Poland to accomodate unprivileged people? Nah, screw Kvyat and all Russian athletes – ban them all until Putin is gone.

    1. Luis De la Garza
      1st March 2022, 15:42

      This situation is on Putin; blame him

    2. @armchairexpert Daniil does use “military actions and wars” at one point, in a way that suggests he’s against the Ukraine situation no matter what anyone happens to call it. A direct statement against this specific war would be much more remarkable, but he’s not speaking in support of the official government line either.

  9. I feel sorry for the Russian competitors that are affected by it, many of them probably don’t support Putin and the attacks on Ukraine. But they are collateral damage in this political ‘conflict’. The world is trying to hit Russia in every possible way, maybe to enforce the people of Russia to stand up against their president and banning sport events and competitors is one way to try to make this happen.

  10. The thing that I haven’t seen mentioned is that these comitees are all based in Europe. FIA is run from France, IOC and UEFA is ran from Switzerland. So when Russia is in a conflict with Europe, I think it is not unthinkable that they will ban teams, sportsmen from any event to pressure Russian government.

    I also find it quite odd that when the entire world is watching a very serious conflict between Russia and Ukraine that is bordering on human right violations, people of involved countries sportsmen is talking about being able to participate in a sporting event. Perhaps they aren’t fully aware of what is going on(!)

    1. Raymond Pang
      1st March 2022, 15:14

      “The IOC said that while Russian and Belarusian athletes might be in a position to compete, Ukrainian athletes may not be able to while their country is under attack.”

      I always had a (slight) concern about sport being “owned” by the West. It’s a Western view that Russia has to be sanctioned (forgive me as I’m not up on Asian, African or South American politics), so there’s a (small) part of me that thinks sport should stay away from this. However, the IOC’s argument that Russia’s (and Belarus’) actions are causing Ukranian athletes to be unable to participate or train is a good argument, and neatly sidesteps politics.

      It’s unfortunate that it’s looking possible that Russian drivers will also be banned from FIA events (and note, this is more than just being about Kvyat or Mazepin, there are Russian drivers in lower categories affected), but as others have mentioned, they are collateral damage to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

    2. Based in Europe, yes, but people who want to run these organisations have to keep the interests of non-European members in mind if they want to get elected. Indeed, the current FIA president ran on an explicity global platform. There is still some bias of course, as Europe is where most of the participants and manufacturers are located.

      That Kvyat thinks this is a good time to complain does indeed come across as rather tone-deaf.

  11. The notion that the Russian Grand Prix is purely a sporting event and not a political one went out as soon as a) Putin started using it for political promotion and b) VTB Bank, which is self-proclaimed to be Putin’s favorite bank and claims close ties to the Kremlin, became the title sponsor.

    Sports and Politics have been linked for thousands of years. The idea that they are not is revisionist, at best.

  12. If barring Russian competitors from sports over war in Ukraine helps prevent senseless loss of lives, then I’d personally support it.

    Sport and it’s ethics aren’t not above human lives. It’s not just Putin or Russian armed forces who have invaded/attacked Ukraine….., Russia, the country did it. Last I checked, it has a democracy (on paper).

  13. Maybe not fair for the Russians who are competing at high level. But if life was fair and everybody equal probably Kvyat wouldn’t have been racing at all. The economic sanctions will hit everybody in Russia and in Europe very hard so why should we not ban Russians from sporting events?

  14. I agree with Kvyat.

    At least let them participate in their own name, as a global citizen.

    Banning humans because of their nationality is in violation with Human Rights:
    1. The Right to Equal Treatment.
    2. The Right to Work.

    1. He can always get a job driving a cab around Moscow

      1. Or an ambulance in Ucraine.
        Or glue back some of the buildings in Kyiv.

  15. So many misinformed commentators )-8 No surprise considering the western propaganda …

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      1st March 2022, 15:49

      Have anything of worth to add then? Why don’t you correct the misinformed and explain what’s really going on?

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        2nd March 2022, 11:18

        No? Can we safely assume then that you have no idea what you’re talking about and are just making edgy comments having read a bunch of right-wing crap on Twitter?

    2. Luke S (@joeypropane)
      1st March 2022, 16:18

      The irony… the Soviet state that Putin is trying to re-establish basically WROTE THE BOOK on propaganda.

      1. @joeypropane as someone from the USSR, could I suggest that perhaps waving around who was worst during the Cold War is not remotely helpful at this point, nor is it sensitive to eastern europe or particularly Ukraine.

        1. What a bunch of dribble. Maybe go back to russia then.

          1. The bit where I mentioned Ukraine there was because not all of the USSR was Russia. That’s my point. I don’t think bringing up the USSR – which was exceptionally, brutally cruel to Ukrainians in particular – is helpful here. Neither is deciding who “invented” propaganda, it is simply not helpful.

        2. Luke S (@joeypropane)
          3rd March 2022, 10:21

          I’m sorry, what? How many lines are you trying to read between here? The USSR existed well before the Cold War
          – which I didn’t even mention or was talking about.

          I don’t think there’s any debating that the old Soviet dictatorship relied heavily on propaganda and mis-information to keep it’s people under control (and a heavy dose of fear, of course) – which is exactly what Putin and his council are doing now… I mean, you only have to listen to the absolutely drivel that comes out of Lavrov’s mouth every time he is given a chance to talk to see just how badly they are manipulating the truth again to justify their actions and reverse all the good Gorbachev did.

          How saying any of this is insensitive to Ukrainians is well beyond me.

    3. then, enlighten them!

      be careful though, the facts and truth might blind you.

  16. Does this also mean no teams may have a Russian mechanic, engineer, physio, truck driver – after all it is a team sport?

    1. No because they don’t represent their country on a world wide arena when they are doing those things. That seems to be the logic anyway.

      1. That, and the FIA is associated with the IOC (which comes with certain expectations about matching sanctions), which covers athletes and entrants (which in the FIA’s eyes means “the people listed as in charge of teams on the FIA paperwork”). The IOC doesn’t cover support roles, and the FIA isn’t associated with any organisation likely to make the same imposition upon the FIA regarding mechanics/engineers/physios/lorry drivers etc. Many of these roles also don’t have direct financial transaction with the FIA (yes, some get paddock passes, but the individual team member doesn’t pay for those, the entrant does).

        Of course, these people are going to have increasing problems getting to European competitions, but that’s not the FIA’s problem as such.

  17. The peaceful solution to Russia bombing children is for them to stop it.

    That said I worry about going down the road of demonizing every Russian person. A Russian restaurant was vandalized where I live yesterday. Someone just trying to make a moving and honor their culture is now out of pocket and probably in fear. That plays into Putin’s hand.

    1. +1
      I’d suggest to say that Putin’s Russia is behind the war, killing, demolition and war crimes. Russian people have the power to change that. Simple as that. We all would like to see Putin dethroned and new democratic Russia rise again with it’s people.

      1. @f1lauri What I am unclear on is this…Do the Russian people have the power to change that? Simple as that? Didn’t Putin set himself up already to be president for the next 20 years or something like that? Pardon my ignorance if I’m misinformed or have misunderstood. And for example aren’t homosexuals currently at fear of making their homosexuality known publicly? Do Russians have the power to change that narrative in the country? Or would they have to fear reprisals if they did? I so hope the Russian people have that kind of power.

        1. And for example aren’t homosexuals currently at fear of making their homosexuality known publicly?

          Yes, and several religious groups, among others, are having trumped up charges laid against them to try to shut them down, with members living in fear. There are a lot of terrible things going on in Russia, and they have been for many years, but the West have generally ignored them and allowed this to continue while ever they were within their own borders (and even outside them, at times…)

    2. The peaceful solution to Russia bombing children is for them to stop it.


      If someone comes along and starts punching me in the face, I don’t really have much in the way of options to bring about a “peaceful solution”: I can allow the attack to continue or I can fight back, neither of which are peaceful. I can try to talk him down, but a “peaceful solution” can only come about when the aggressor stops attacking, whether by choice or because they are forced to.

  18. Unfair for Putin’s Russia to attack Ukraine and kill thousands of people. Compared to that it’s quite non-important if few people can do sports or not. Take down Putin and things can start getting back to normal – for Ukraine and for Russian sports people.

  19. Very much agree with Kvyat. Also, don’t forget that he’s not one of the ‘oligarch-backed’ Russians heavily linked to the government.

    As I said yesterday, banning Russians because they are Russian is ridiculous. Obviously what Putin is doing is bad, but in this century plenty of other countries have done equally bad things, with none of this self-righteous rubbish meted out to them. Otherwise we’d have no British drivers, no American drivers, no Saudi money or grand prix, no Chinese drivers or money or grand prix, et cetera et cetera. Cut the hypocrisy!

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m fully on board with opposing the Russian invasion. Just like the various American-British military actions of the last 20 years, and the Israeli oppression of Palestine, the Chinese in Tibet and Xinjiang, the Saudis in Yemen etc… respect for human rights etc should be universal, not just when it politically suits ‘western’ countries.

    1. Denying the invasion and subsequent war is a bad start.

      1. He didn’t deny anything.

  20. Historically we use sports to try and bridge gaps and prove we can compete and live with one another without the need for bloodshed.

    I don’t think Russian individuals should be discriminated against because of the actions of their government. Which let’s face it isn’t democratically elected. There is no way Russians have kept voting Putin into power and we all know it. However on saying that, if allies of the regime are investing in a F1 team and funding a driver. Say a certain Oligarch and their son. Its hard to argue against banning them.

    I hope peace can be found soon without the need for an escalation in conflict.

  21. I’d say there are a lot more things much more unfair than that going on the last weeks and even years. You had your chance speaking up after Crimea, you had the chance now. You didn’t.

    That said, it would probably be wise always to leave an option for Russia to back out of this without lossing too much. Though I have trouble seeing one at the moment.

  22. Perhaps he might ask the bloodied bodies of dead children in Ukraine who have died at the hands of Russian artillery what unfair really means.

  23. Kvyat is right– it’s not fair. Neither is what’s happening in Ukraine right now, unfortunately. It’s not the drivers who are being punished, it’s Russia’s standing in the modern world. The options are either for NATO to declare open war on Russia, or for the international community to make Russia a pariah– an “untouchable”.

    And sadly, part of that involves shutting down any entities that might be creating goodwill for Russia– and that includes drivers under the Russian flag. :(

  24. It’s not fair, but what else can the FIA, IOC, FIFA, UEFA,…. do. They are trying to bring enough frustration to the ones affected in hope for them to rise up and bring change.
    War is never ok. Regardless what the reason is you started one. It’s always the innocent that have to suffer.
    In his case, I feel he has no option to speak out a) in favor of the sanctions, b) speak out against the Regime, and c) renouncing the actions in the Ukraine.
    His problem is that once he says something in the open, his family that might be still in Russia will have to pay the price.

    I have heard once about Russian Hockey players that played in the NHL in North America, that they have to literally Pay a made up Tax to ensure the safety of their family in Russia. If you are famous enough, you are forced to speak in favor of everything Russia does.

    I am not defending Kvyat’s words and actions, but I somewhat feel like I understand why he says what he says.

  25. It isn’t about the athlete who is being sanctioned.
    It is about hurting their countrymen to such a degree that they rise against an unacceptable regime in order to be accepted by civilised society.

    By crushing the working class you can force change.
    Violent and bloody though it may be.

    1. @nullapax with all due respect, I normally think you are quite sound but the argument that it is morally good to deprive and hurt people living under a brutally oppressive dictatorship is absolutely dreadful and a true ‘are we the baddies’ moment. Not to mention straight out of Leninism which I don’t know if that’s really the perfect thing to bring up, in this context.

      1. What are the sanctions being applied for if not to hurt the people?
        Mr Putin will not suffer one little bit from any of the sanctions – unless he is a devotee of The Eurovision Song Contest perhaps?

        I totally see what you are saying and as this is not the place to start a political debate I shall stand down.

        Bad times and too much emotion.

        1. You said putin will not suffer one bit, reason enough to not put those sanctions…

  26. lord knows I have no real reason to be nuanced about this (or at least, could be excused not being) but I feel like people don’t realise quite how incredibly dangerous it is for prominent Russians to criticise the state. Dany’s post acknowledges that there is suffering that needs to stop, asking for Ukrainian representation at peace talks – that might sound like technicalities but both things are unacceptable viewpoints to the Kremlin, which has styled this as a war of liberation against a government they are calling nazi. Dany’s family still live in Russia, I am sure he – especially because he’s quite a deep-thinking person – thought for quite a long time before he worded his post and although it might be disappointing that he doesn’t fully condemn the invasion, it is still a position defiant to Putin’s line.

    1. Nikos (@exeviolthor)
      2nd March 2022, 6:03


  27. If you are banning one side also ban the other.

    1. And that makes absolutely no sense. Ukraine didn’t attack Russia.

      1. @jimfromus says the yankee. Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Syria etc.

        1. some racing fan
          2nd March 2022, 6:07

          Stop using whataboutism- your argument is dishonest and made in very bad faith.

          But if you want to change topics, then OK. The US is not perfect- no country is but you want to compare that to the Holodomor (which happened in Ukraine), the invasion of Afghanistan, the occupation of the Baltic states during WWII, etc, etc.

  28. Let’s allow Danny and other russian looser (what’s his name?) to race in F1 after they publicly will denounce Putin’s politics….I bet they will refuse anyway.

  29. I totally support banning them, especially when he proves the reason behind it by calling this a conflict instead of a war or an invasion. Now is it harsh? Yes probably, but if you don’t have the balls to call this an invasion, you better sit aside.

    1. You can’t blame Danny for not wanting to be the next Alexander Litvinenko.

  30. That coming from someone who’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. He’s collateral, as are the innocent civilians who are being killed.

  31. RocketTankski
    1st March 2022, 20:00

    Way to read the room Daniil.. Not really the right time to be piping up about the rights and happiness of a few sportspeople. Bigger issues to sort out first. When we get to that day that all the people’s of the world can play sports in peace then I’ll happily cheer you on.

  32. I completely agree with what Danil said. FIA should stay of world politics. It can barely manage its own.
    There’s absolutely nothing Danil could or could have done to stop this war, so limiting him and other Russian competitors is just another discrimination in already messed up situation.

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      1st March 2022, 22:14

      He could refuse to drive as long as the war continues, like some Russian citizens in areas other than racing have been doing.

  33. Bans like this are never fair to the athletes, nor are they meant to be. They’re punitive by definition.

  34. I don’t think the word fair is relevant here, there is no fair.

    My problem with his statement is the missing condemnation of the invasion.

    I can understand why no Russian would want to publically condemn the attack for first of retribution.

    However, if you can’t condemn the invasion you really should be silent. Otherwise, you will be judged.

  35. Yep. And correct calls, eventually, are being made in various places. Danny Kvyat’s statement was frankly embarrassing.

    “Why should Russians be punished?”
    No brainer, because your elected President has invaded and is trying to subjugate another free and self determined country.

    Q. Danny, if the USA invaded your country, launched missile attacks on your hospitals, schools, housing. Sent 150,000 troops and tens of thousands of tanks, rocket arrays and other Russian military aggressive hardware. And then told you, you were being rescued. It was all a liberation. How would you feel?

    Russia has invaded a sovereign state. It is now using missile attacks on the people of that country, NOT military targets.

    Russia has declared war in Europe. The world does not accept it, and your shrug about unfairness against Russian sports people is frankly shocking. Denounce Putin’s actions. The World sports federations are doing this so people in Russia see through the lies Putin’s machine is spinning them.

    Banning Russia for competing in global sports is yet another way of getting the reality of what your country is actively doing in attacking Ukraine across to the Russian people.

    You have a platform Danny. Use it

  36. Kvyat, apply to be a citizen of a free country.

  37. One of the problems with Kvyat’s response is that it sound logical on its face. Ban a driver who had nothing to do with the war? That does seem unfair.

    However, the unfairness is the point.

    It’s unfair that Ukranians are getting bombed. It’s a lot more than unfair.

    Russia’s done this egregiously violent/illegal thing with the hopes of benefitting. The assumption is that for everything else, people will “play fair” – which means that Russia always has the “fairness” upper hand. I think one of the best things that’s happened with this invasion is that the country’s getting blocked in virtually every other way possible. SWIFT, sports events, consumer products, entertainment, etc.

    Obviously none of this will directly affect Putin. But stonewalling Russia in every possible way short of war (given nuclear weapons, genuine all-out war is unimaginable) is the correct thing to do. It’s about essentially telling Russia, that if they play unfairly (bombing a sovereign nation), every other thing that’s associated with them will face repercussions, because standard “war” retaliation is no longer possible. So yes, it sucks that ordinary Russians will face consequences for their country’s actions.

    Those consequences are a lot less than what ordinary Ukranians are suffering from Russia’s actions. It is unfair. Just not the way Kvyat thinks.

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