Russian and Belarus competitors, teams and officials will be suspended from motor sport events in Britain in the wake of the Ukraine invasion.
Welsh-born David Richards CBE, Chair of Motorsport UK, along with the Board of the organisation, have considered the appropriate response to the ongoing acts of war and aggression conducted in Ukraine by Russia and Belarus.
Richards said, “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.
“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).”
On 1 March, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) held an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) chaired by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem to discuss the ongoing conflict. David Richards CBE, Chair of Motorsport UK and WMSC Member, attended the session.
In full accordance with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendations, and respecting the decisions of the FIA, Motorsport UK Board members have established the actions to be taken in the UK and approved the following to be implemented with immediate effect:
It means Nikita Mazepin cannot race in July’s British Grand Prix even if he continues to be part of the Haas F1 team.
Mazepin’s father, Dmitry, provides financial backing to Haas and is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Haas is expected to sever links with their Russian driver but doubts remain over legality of the funding.
Recognition of licences issued by the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) and the Belarus Automobile Federation (BAF) is suspended in the UK. As a consequence:
- No Russian/Belarusian licenced teams are approved to enter motorsport competitions in the UK
- No Russian/Belarusian licenced competitors and officials are approved to participate in UK motorsport events
- No Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, 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.
Richards concluded, “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.”