Ukraine asks for Russian drivers to be banned by FIA

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Ukraine asks for Russian drivers to be banned by FIA

Formula 1

Ukraine asks for Russian drivers to be banned by FIA

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The president of the Automobile Federation of Ukraine (FAU) has called on the FIA to ban Russian and Belarusian drivers from competing outside of their own countries, in a move that would hit Haas F1 driver Nikita Mazepin.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem wrote to FAU president Leonid Kostyuchenk last week when Russia invaded Ukraine, offering his “full support and the support of the FIA”. In response, Kostyuchenk thanked Ben Sulayem but also made a number of requests of the FIA in order to sanction Russia and Belarus – where some of the invasion was launched from – including:

* Prohibit the use of state symbols of the aggressor countries of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus during the FIA and FIA-sanctioned competitions;

* Prohibit the holding of FIA competitions and authorized FIA competitions on the territory of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus;

* Prohibit RAF and RAF-sanctioned competitions in the occupied territories of Ukraine;

* To exclude from the FIA all members from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus;

* To exclude from the FIA commissions all persons representing organizations from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus;

* Prohibit holders of all licenses issued by the RAF and BAF from competitions outside the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.

The ban would prevent Mazepin from racing in Formula 1 – or any other FIA-sanctioned event – at a time when his seat is already under threat. Haas is working through the legal aspects of its title sponsorship deal with Uralkali, having removed the branding from its car, transporters and media assets at the Barcelona test last week.

Uralkali is run by Mazepin’s father Dmitry who has close ties with Vladimir Putin, and should that deal be terminated it is also likely to result in the Russian driver losing his place within the team.

Soon after the letter, the International Olympic Committee asked governing bodies of all sports to not allow athletes or officials from Russia or Belarus to compete in competitions where possible. The FIA is recognized by the IOC, meaning it is one such governing body likely to have received the request.

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