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Russian drivers still allowed to compete despite FIA 'condemning' invasion of Ukraine

Russian drivers still allowed to compete despite FIA 'condemning' invasion of Ukraine

Russian drivers still allowed to compete despite FIA 'condemning' invasion of Ukraine

Russian drivers still allowed to compete despite FIA 'condemning' invasion of Ukraine

The FIA has decided to allow Russian and Belarusian drivers to continue to compete in international competitions, albeit under the flag of world motorsport's governing body, following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has strongly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine, leading to the WMSC taking a number of measures after it was forced to convene in the wake of a declaration from the International Olympic Committee on Monday.

Following Russia's escalating invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, the IOC called on the governing bodies of its recognised sports to ban all Russians and Belarusians from participating in international events.

The FIA had to act as it has been fully recognised by the IOC, in accordance with the sporting and governance standards of the Olympic Charter, since 2013.

Prior to the IOC's announcement, last week F1 took the step to remove this season's Russian Grand Prix from the calendar, which has now been officially cancelled for reasons of force majeure.

Many will believe the actions listed below do not go far enough as Russian drivers are still being allowed to compete, which means Nikita Mazepin can continue to drive for Haas this season. Haas has declined to comment.

An FIA statement read: "No international/zone competitions to take place in Russia and Belarus, until further notice.

"No flag/symbol or anthem of Russia/Belarus to be used in international/zone competitions, until further notice.

"No Russian/Belarusian national teams to participate in international/zone competitions [e.g. FIA Motorsport Games], until further notice.

"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.

"No Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, flags [uniform, equipment and car] should be displayed or anthems should be played at international/zone competitions, until further notice."

Ben Sulayem said: “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.

"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.”

In addition to the actions outlined above, the WMSC has also determined that no FIA grant will be awarded to Russian/Belarusian FIA Members, until further notice, and no existing FIA grant funding will be paid to the Russian/Belarusian FIA Members.

Ben Sulayem added: “I want to thank the Council members for their prompt action in deciding these measures in the interests of sport and peace.

"We stand in solidarity with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the President of the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine (FAU) and the wider FIA family in the country.

"The measures taken today recognise the authority of the FAU in Ukraine and are also aligned with the recommendations recently made by the International Olympic Committee.

"We are in active discussions with our members as we continue to extend our compassion and support in their time of need. We sincerely hope for a peaceful resolution to their intolerable hardship.”

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