FIA allows Russian drivers to compete, but in neutral capacity and under its flag

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

Published: 02nd March 2022 01:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2022 01:28 PM   |  A+A-

Russian motorsports racing driver Nikita Mazepin steers his car during a Formula One pre-season testing session at the Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, just outside of Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo | AP)

Russian motorsports racing driver Nikita Mazepin steers his car during a Formula One pre-season testing session at the Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, just outside of Barcelona, Spain. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

PARIS: Formula One's governing body, the FIA, has allowed Russian drivers to continue competing in the sanctioned motor racing events, but only in a neutral capacity and under its flag.

Unlike many international sporting federations, the FIA move is not fully in line with the International Olympic Committee's push to ban all Russian athletes and officials' participation in tournaments and competitions after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, the motor sports' apex body said, "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.

" However, it has also said that no competitions will take place in Russia or Belarus until further notice, and no flag, symbol, or anthem of those countries will be allowed at any FIA event. The FIA had earlier cancelled this year's Russian Grand Prix.

The decision was made at an extraordinary meeting of the world motorsport body even as the conflict in Ukraine entered its sixth day.

FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, condemned the Russian invasion, spoke of his sadness at events in Ukraine, and expressed the body's solidarity with the country.

"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," Sulayem said in a statement.

"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. Responding to Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week, the IOC's executive board recommended on Monday that international federations and organisations "not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials" in competition.



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