Ferrari suspend partnership with Russian sponsor after warning of ‘considerable risk of IT attack’

The Kaspersky logo will not feature on the Ferrari car this year.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ferrari have decided to suspend their partnership with Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, and the name will not appear on the car following a “joint decision.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade Ukraine on 24 February following months of tension as more soldiers were sent to the border between the countries.

The FIA’s response was swift, and they ordered that no Russian or Belarusian flags or colours were to appear in global motorsport, but Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto was quick to describe Kaspersky as a “global company,” justifying the team’s continued partnership with the Russian firm.

German federal cybersecurity authority, BST, had recently warned that there was a “significant risk of an IT attack” attached with Kaspersky, and this is the reason for the removal of the logo from the Ferrari car followed by the temporary severance of ties.

READ: ‘Charles made him look really silly’: Verstappen criticised for getting outsmarted by Leclerc in Bahrain

“The actions of Russian military and intelligence forces, and threats made by Russia against the EU, NATO and Germany in the course of the current armed conflict, pose a considerable risk of a successful IT attack,” they added.

They then warned that the IT company could well attempt to execute such an attack.

“A Russian IT manufacturer can carry out such offensive operations itself,” explained BST. recently contacted Ferrari for a statement on the status of their relationship with the Russian sponsor, but they declined to comment.

Article continues below

Now, however, a spokesperson for the Maranello squad has confirmed the temporary suspension of their association with them.

“The partnership is paused for the time being due to a joint decision taken by the two companies,” Ferrari said, before adding that, as they observe the developments in Eastern Europe, they are “assessing the situation.”

READ: ‘We couldn’t live with that’: Horner explains why Leclerc was able to keep Verstappen at bay in Bahrain

Russian Potash producer Uralkali was recently dropped by Haas in the wake of the invasion, as they are part owned by oligarch Dmitry Mazepin, who is said to have close links to Putin and the Kremlin.

His son, Nikita, therefore has his contract terminated as his seat with Haas was paid for by his father, and he has since claimed that they had “no legal reason” to let him go.

Haas have replaced him with Kevin Magnussen, who has returned to the Banbury squad having left at the end of 2020.