FIA moves to ban Russian participation in motorsport

Russian driver Nikita Mazepin at his home Grand Prix last year

The FIA has announced a halt on Russian participation in international motorsport following an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

The sport’s governing body has moved to block the country’s involvement as a host, while limiting Russian national’s ability to compete.

It comes in response to the ongoing war in Ukraine after Russia forces, aided by Belarus, invaded the country last week.

That saw Formula 1 announce that it was ‘impossible to host the Russian Grand Prix under the current circumstances’, with a similar position adopted by promoters of the WTCR.

It also saw Haas remove Russian backing from its cars on the final day of F1 pre-season testing in Spain last Friday.

Earlier this week, the president of the Ukraine motorsport federation, Leonid Kostyuchenko, called for Russia to be banned from the sport.

“As you know, the FIA is watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and I hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation,” said FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

“We condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and our thoughts are with all those suffering as a result of the events in Ukraine.

“I would like to stress that the FIA, together with our promoters, proactively acted on this matter last week and communicated accordingly on the Formula 1, Formula 2, WTCR and the International Drifting Cup.

“An updated version of the different FIA International Calendars will be presented to the WMSC meeting in Bahrain for approval.”

The FIA duly voted to follow the lead of the International Olympic Committee and impose several limitations on Russian involvement in motorsport.

Competitions organised on the territory of Russia and Belarus

  • No international/zone competition to take place in Russia and Belarus, until further notice
  • No flag/symbol or anthem of Russia/Belarus to be used in international/zone competitions, until further notice

Drivers, competitors and officials

  • No Russian/Belarusian national teams to participate in international/zone competitions (e.g. FIA Motorsport Games), until further notice
  • Russian/Belarusian drivers, individual competitors and officials to participate in international/zone competitions only in their neutral capacity and under the “FIA flag”, subject to specific commitment and adherence to the FIA’s principles of peace and political neutrality, until further notice
  • No Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, flags (uniform, equipment and car)- should be displayed or anthems should be played at international/zone competitions, until further notice

FIA Elected officers/Commissions’ members 

  • Representatives from Russian/Belarusian FIA Members to step aside temporarily from their roles and responsibilities of elected officers/commissions’ members *

FIA grants 

  • No FIA grant to be awarded to the Russian/Belarusian FIA Members, until further notice *
  • No existing FIA grant funding will be paid to the Russian/Belarusian FIA Members *

* Subject to the approval of the World Council for Automobile Mobility and Tourism

FIA International Sporting Calendar 

  • Upon proposal of the F1 Commercial Rights Holder, cancellation of the 2022 Russian F1 Grand Prix for reason of Force Majeure.

“I want to thank the Council members for their prompt action in deciding these measures in the interests of sport and peace,” Ben Sulayem added.

“We stand in solidarity with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the President of the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine (FAU) and the wider FIA family in the country.

“The measures taken today recognise the authority of the FAU in Ukraine and are also aligned with the recommendations recently made by the International Olympic Committee.

“We are in active discussions with our members as we continue to extend our compassion and support in their time of need.

“We sincerely hope for a peaceful resolution to their intolerable hardship.”

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