FIA reconsiders Russian driver ban and prohibits support of Ukraine invasion
Russian drivers may still be banned from FIA-sanctioned events motor sport's governing body has confirmed
The FIA is considering a rethink on whether Russian drivers will be allowed to compete in sanctioned races this season and could still move to ban drivers outright.
A new ‘driver commitment’ agreement has been published by the governing body that details requirements from Russian competitors in order to be allowed to drive in races.
It includes the requirement that no Russian or Belarusian drivers express support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The FIA was criticised last week when it decided not to ban Russian drivers from competing in races. It now requires them to races as neutrals, without reference to Russia.
But the FIA has given itself space to reconsider its position with the new agreement which requires drivers to acknowledge further measures may be implemented “including the right to refuse me entry into or prevent me from participating in and/or attending any Covered Event.”
The 10-point list includes the requirement or acknowledgement of the following:
- Any refusal or failure to comply with FIA decisions from its March 1 announcement will constitute a breach of Article 12.2.1.e of the FIA International Sporting Code
- The FIA’s condemnation of the events unfolding in Ukraine
- Participation in races as a neutral representative
- No displaying of Russian/Belarusian symbols at events or on social media
- Ban on the words “Russian”, “Russia”, “Belarus”, “Belarusian”, “Russian Automobile Federation”, “Fédération de l’Automobile de Belarus” or the acronyms “RUS” or “RAF” or “BAF”, “FBA”, “BLR” and the banning of the emblem of the Russian Automobile Federation (“RAF”) or “Fédération de l’Automobile de Belarus” (“FBA”/”BAF”)
- No Russian/Belarusian national anthems will be played at Covered Events. I will not play or sing the Russian/Belarusian national anthem at any official event
- No expression of any support (direct or indirect) for the Russian and/or Belarusian activities in respect of Ukraine
- Compliance with FIA regulations
- The FIA may implement further measures or issue further decisions in relation to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine
- The Driver Commitment is legally binding
“The WMSC decisions were implemented with immediate and binding effect on 1 March 2022 and will remain in force until further notice,” an FIA statement said. “Addressees of this circular must take all necessary steps to implement and comply with the WMSC decisions.
“Any refusal or failure to comply with the WMSC decisions will constitute a breach of Article 12.2.1.e of the International Sporting Code, and may result in the imposition of a penalty or sanction under Article 1.3.2 or Article 12 of the International Sporting Code, Article 4.4 or Article 25 of the FIA Statutes, Article 5 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, or under any other applicable provision of the FIA rules and regulations.
“The FIA unequivocally condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the support provided by Belarus. The decisions of the WMSC represent the strong commitment of the FIA to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine, and all of those suffering as a result of the ongoing conflict.”
Motorsport UK has already moved to ban Russian and Belarusian drivers from competing in sanctioned events in the United Kingdom, meaning Haas driver Nikita Mazepin is effectively banned from the Formula 1 British Grand Prix.
Mazepin is reportedly at risk of losing his seat with the Haas team, with current test driver Pietro Fittipaldi on standby to replace the Russian for the Bahrain test next week.