FIA extends restrictions on Russian drivers

As Nikita Mazepin secured a podium on his return to top-level circuit motor racing, the FIA has announced new measures relating to Russian drivers.

Early last year, at the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the FIA introduced a measure requiring Russian drivers to sign a document denouncing their country.

Several FIA-sanctioned Russian drivers declined to sign it, while Mazepin’s Formula 1 career was brought to an end with Haas’ termination of his contract and that of his father’s title sponsoring company Uralkali.

Last weekend, having won the all-terrain T3 class in the Silk Way rally mid last year, Mazepin returned to the podium after contesting the opening round of the Asian Le Mans series in Dubai.

Another high-profile Russian driver is Robert Shwartzman, who managed to keep his prominent reserve role at Ferrari active throughout the Russia-Ukraine conflict by switching to Israeli citizenship.

At the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council meeting last December, the body discussed the situation relating to Russian drivers like Shwartzman who were born elsewhere – in his case Tel Aviv.

“Any (Russian) driver holding dual citizenship shall remain liable to comply with the FIA’s principles of peace and political neutrality,” the governing body clarified in a note sent to licensed FIA drivers last Friday.

The FIA’s ban on races in Russia, as well of displays of Russian flags, colours and national teams, has also been upheld “until further notice”.

“Any Russian driver who does not sign a declaration committing to adhere to the FIA’s principles of peace and political neutrality will not be
allowed to participate in any competitions,” the letter added.

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