Former Formula 1 driver Sergey Sirotkin has joined the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) as an executive director as they try to garner more interest in Russian motorsport.
Sirotkin won three races in GP2 in 2015 and 2016 as he ended the championship third both times, and he contested the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2017 with SMP Racing as he finished 16th in the LMP2 class and 33rd overall.
The Russian was promoted to F1 with Williams for the 2018 season, and he scored his only point at the Italian Grand Prix, before leaving at the end of the season along with team-mate Lance Stroll to be replaced by George Russell and Robert Kubica.
Since then, he has opened up a karting academy in Moscow, and raced in the European and Intercontinental GT categories.
He took to Instagram to announce his new adventure.
“Friends, I’ve said it many times that my mission and target is the development and growth in popularity of auto racing in our country – and I’ve been actively working on that for several years,” he wrote, with a picture of him putting a medal around a young racer’s neck.
“Today I am sharing with you another piece of news, no less exciting and important to me – recently I was appointed as the executive director of the Russian Automobile Federation.
“I believe that together we can get to the next stage in the development of auto racing in our country!”
Sirotkin’s appointment comes amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, for which former F1 driver Nikita Mazepin was sacked by the Haas team, and the Russian Grand Prix has been cancelled while no race will be held there for the indefinite future.
The FIA also placed a ban on all Russian and Belarusian branding from appearing in global motorsport, while all athletes from those countries must compete under the neutral flag while taking part in FIA sanctioned events.
Further, multiple national motorsport governing bodies, including the UK, have banned Russian and Belarusian superlicense holders from racing in their respective countries.
Russian racing driver Artem Severiukhin was sacked by the Ward Racing Team after he was seen performing a Nazi salute on the podium at a karting event in Portugal.
“On the basis of these considerations Ward Racing sees of continued cooperation with Artem Severiukhin and will proceed with terminating his racing contract,” the team said of his actions, before the FIA held a hearing with the Italian superlicense holder in late April, during which he was asked to explain his actions.
No action has yet been taken by the FIA against Severiukhin.