Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had a significant impact on motorsport, with the landscape of many team’s futures changing as a result of the conflict.
In the wake of the start of the invasion, Haas axed their title sponsor Uralkali and Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, with the 23-year-old claiming that ‘cancel culture’ played a large part in his sacking.
The FIA have placed a ban on Russian drivers in motorsport, with any drivers from the country having to race under a neutral flag if they wish to compete.
Ferrari reserve driver Robert Shwartzman has had to change his nationality to Israeli in order to continue with the Scuderia, as he holds a passport from Israel.
Former Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat has now issued an appeal to the FIA for politics to stay out of motorsport, claiming that allowing Russian drivers back into sport would help unite the nations.
“I want to appeal to all sports federations and the IOC that sport must remain out of politics,” he began.
“We, the athletes, can help to unite the nations in the time ahead. It horrifies me to see the conflict between two fraternal nations. I want my daughter and all children to enjoy this wonderful world.”
The Russian will be taking part in the2023 FIA World Endurance Championship with Prema Racing and has praised NASCAR for their stand on Russian drivers after he took part in the series last season.
“For a long time the situation was very tense, but now the tension has eased a bit. NASCAR set a great example and acted like a sport.
“Sports should bring people together and NASCAR is a great example for others, including those in Europe.”
Haas’ decision to split from Uralkali was not an easy one at the time, as the money from this title sponsor was key to the team just being able to survive in Formula 1.
The American team have now partnered with MoneyGram as their new title sponsor, ditching the red, white and blue on their livery which was rumoured to only be part of the design to appease their Russian sponsors.