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F1 | World Motor Sport Council Decision on Russian/Belarusian drivers: Mazepin allowed to race under neutral flag

FIA has decided to allow Russian athletes to continue competing in their championships under a neutral flag, and has also confirmed the cancellation of this year’s Russian GP

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F1 | World Motor Sport Council Decision on Russian/Belarusian drivers: Mazepin allowed to race under neutral flag
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic Motorlat

The consequences of the terrible war that Russian president Vladimir Putin started last week against Ukraine are beginning to impact the Motorsport world.

Only yesterday FAU, the Ukrainian Automotive Federation, was asking the newly appointed president of the FIA Mohammed Ben Sulayem for tough measures against Russia and Belarus to be taken in support of the assaulted country.

The Federation was joined in their requests by the International Olympic Committee, that advised all sports related organisations to expel, when possible, Russian and Belarusian officials and athletes.

An "extraordinary meeting" of the World MotorSport Council was organised by Ben Sulaym to discuss which measures related to the Ukrainian demands should be implemented, and its results have just been announced.

In an official FIA statement the President condemns the attack carried out by Russia and renews his declaration of support to the suffering Ukrainians: “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."

His words are followed by a list of the decisions taken in support of the assaulted country, which include the ban of all Russian and Belarusian symbols (including flags, colours and hymns, and national teams from international competition, as well as the temporary removal of all FIA elected representatives and officers.

Haas's Nikita Mazepin in F1 and MP's Aleksandr Smoljar in F3 will still be able to take part in their upcoming championships, as the Russian pilots will be allowed to compete under a neutral FIA flag, but not in the Russian Automotive Federation's name, as it had happened in the recent past.

Russia and Belarus are also forbidden to host international motorsport events, thus confirming the cancellation of the 2022 Russian F1 GP.

its replacement will be discussed in the next WSMC meeting, set to be hold in Bahrain. President Ben Sulayem reiterated his support to his Ukrainian colleagues in the final part of the statement, highlighting the importance of the swift response shown by the Council members: “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," he concluded hoping for the conflict to be resolved shortly:

"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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