Motorsport UK has become the first Formula 1 hosting federation to ban Russian and Belarusian drivers from competing, meaning Nikita Mazepin will not be allowed to race in the British Grand Prix even if he retains his Haas drive.
Following the FIA’s decision to allow Russian and Belarusian drivers to race as neutrals under an “FIA flag” yesterday – going against an IOC recommendation to ban them – there has been a response from a number of national federations. Motorsport UK has taken its own decision to go further than the FIA, banning those holding those licenses.
“Recognition of licenses issued by the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) and the Belarus Automobile Federation (BAF) is suspended in the UK,” a Motorsport UK statement read. “As a consequence:
* No Russian/Belarusian licensed teams are approved to enter motorsport competitions in the UK
* No Russian/Belarusian licensed competitors and officials are approved to participate in UK motorsport events
* No Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colors, flags (on uniform, equipment and car) to be displayed at Motorsport UK permitted events
“The Motorsport UK decision was made in full consultation with the UK Government and national sports governing bodies to ensure that there is a unilateral response to the crisis.”
The move comes following similar decisions from the motorsport federations in Sweden and Finland, and as well as drivers in junior categories would see Mazepin not allowed to compete should he still be a Haas driver as it stands.
Motorsport UK chairman Dave Richards says other motorsport federations should follow suit to try and play a small part in bringing the war in Ukraine to an end as quickly as possible.
“The entire Motorsport UK community condemns the acts of war by Russia and Belarus in Ukraine and expresses its solidarity and support towards all those affected by the ongoing conflict,” he said.
“We stand united with the people of Ukraine and the motorsport community following the invasion and the unacceptable actions that have unfolded. This is a time for the international motorsport community to act and show support for the people of Ukraine and our colleagues at the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine (FAU).
“It is our duty to use whatever influence and leverage we might have to bring this wholly unjustified invasion of Ukraine to a halt. We would encourage the motorsport community and our colleagues around the world to fully embrace the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee and do whatever we can to end this war.
“Motorsport UK stands united with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the President of the FAU, the Ukrainian motorsport community and the Ukrainian people and calls for the violence to end with a peaceful resolution.”