‘Better not to drive at all’: Kvyat refuses to sign FIA document condemning Putin’s war on Ukraine

Sanctions imposed against drivers and competitors from Russia and Belarus have been described as "discrimination."

Former Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat’s 2022 season looks to be over before it has even begun after he failed to sign a document related to Russian and Belarusian competitors in FIA sanctioned events.

The Russian had looked set to join Russian team G-Drive to contest the European Le Mans series as well as the Le Mans 24-hour race later in the year, but both he and team boss Roman Rusinov are unwilling to agree to the governing body’s terms following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

New president Mohammed ben Sulayem met with other members of the FIA last week to discuss new parameters around which Russia and Belarus will be involved in global motorsport going forward, and they agreed that no Russian or Belarusian symbols or anthems were to be seen or heard at FIA events, while drivers and teams from either of those countries can only compete under a neutral flag.

There have been calls for a much more widespread sporting punishment of Russia, and this is something Kvyat was keen to air his thoughts against via a statement posted on social media.

“I would also like to highlight and address all sports federations across the world, including IOC, that sport should remain outside politics, and disallowing Russian athletes and teams from participating in world competitions is an unfair solution and goes against what sport teaches us in principle: the unity and peace,” he said.

All drivers and competitors from Russia and Belarus were then asked to sign a document agreeing to the new terms, and pledging to not show support for Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine.

Exactly which part of that Kvyat disagreed with is as yet unknown, but he has failed to put pen to paper on the agreement.

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Rusinov did the same, meaning that his G-Drive team will be unable to compete in this year’s ELMS championship.

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“Today, I, the pilot of the Russian G-Drive Racing team, refused to accept the discriminatory conditions of the FIA,” he wrote.

“The goal of each athlete is to hear the anthem of their country on the podium. Over 10 years of international experience, our team has done this many times.

“We raised the Russian flag, we heard and sang the Russian anthem. For the sake of my fans, for the sake of my team-mates and sporting honour, I will not sign this document. Better not to drive at all.”

As a result of this news, former Formula 3 driver Sophia Floersch is now likely to have to go in search of another seat having also signed with the team last month.

Motorsport UK has banned drivers and competitors from Russia and Belarus from competing in the country, and the Russian automobile federation (RAF) has queried whether this contravenes the FIA’s code against discrimination.