FIA investigates 'Nazi' salute by Russian karter Artem Severiukhin

Karting News

A formal investigation has been launched into karter Artem Severiukhin the FIA has confirmed

Artem Severiukhin

Artem Severiukhin has been dropped by his team and placed under investigation by the FIA


The FIA has confirmed it has launched an investigation into karter Artem Severiukhin for making what has been described as a Nazi salute at an OK Karting Championship round in Portugal.

Severiukhin, who is competing under an Italian license after a ban on Russian drivers from FIA competition, won the opening round of the 2022 FIA Karting European Championship in the OK category.

During the podium ceremony, the 15 year old beat his chest before holding out his arm stretched in front of him and laughing.

The governing body has now confirmed it is looking into the incident and will issue a further statement in the coming days over the action it is planning to take.

“The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile confirms that it has launched an immediate investigation into the unacceptable conduct of Mr Artem Severiukhin that occurred during the podium ceremony for the OK category at Round 1 of the 2022 FIA Karting European Championship at the Kartódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal,” the FIA statement said.

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“The FIA will communicate shortly on the further steps that will be taken in this case.”

Severiukhin released his response via Telegram and insisted that the gesture was not as it had seemed.

“I want to apologise to everyone for what happened yesterday at the European Karting Championships,” he said.

“Standing on the podium I made a gesture that has been perceived as a Nazi salute. This is not true. I have never supported and consider it one of the worst crimes in humanity.

“I race under an Italian license and race under italian flag and the guys in front of the podium showed me it in Italy and it is not a custom.

“I hit myself in the chest three times in the heart area showing gratitude. I just wanted to make the gesture but how everything has happened I cannot explain.

“I know that I’m a fool and ready to be punished, but please, believe there was no intention in my actions and no support for nazism or facism. For all of those that watched in the broadcast, excuse me.”

His Ward Racing team has already acted on the incident, dropping the karter from its line-up and issuing a statement condemning his actions.

“This statement is made in response to the personal actions of Ward Racing pilot Artem Severiukhin during the award ceremony in Portimao on April 10, 2022. Ward Racing is deeply in shame of the pilot’s behavior which it condemns in the strongest possible terms. Action will promptly be taken accordingly.

“The actions of Artem Severiukhin during the award ceremony on April 10, 2022 were exclusively individual and do not represent the views and values of Ward Racing in any manner.

“It considers them a manifestation of unsportsmanlike behavior, an unacceptable violation of the ethical and moral sports codex. With this statement, Ward Racing expresses its opinion, as well as the opinion of all athletes and staff of the Ward Racing team. On the basis of these considerations, Ward Racing sees no possibility for continued cooperation with Artem Severyukhin and will proceed with terminating his racing contract.

“Finally, Ward Racing would like to apologize to those who were hurt or distressed by the occurrence. It has long been and will remain a priority for Ward Racing to work for a more diverse, inclusive, and respectful racing climate.”