All 20 Formula 1 drivers have come together to show their support for the people of Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion on 24 February of their neighbouring countries, and it has sparked global condemnation from world leaders as well as heavy sanctions placed upon Moscow.
Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen have all previously been outspoken in their opposition to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, with the German confirming that he would have boycotted the Russian Grand Prix in September even had it not been cancelled by the FIA.
Ahead of the second pre-season test in Bahrain, the drivers formed on the grid at the Sakhir International Circuit to hold up a banner saying “No War,” and multiple drivers have taken to social media to emit their support to those affected.
“F1 drivers stand with Ukraine and its people for peace and freedom. Every conflict around the world affects us all and we hope this suffering comes to an end immediately,” said Sainz.
“No war” was Verstappen’s message, before Mick Schumacher echoed his sentiment, posting “NO WAR. I stand with the people of Ukraine and all other people affected by war.”
Sir Lewis Hamilton was unable to attend the show of solidarity in Bahrain due to his flight from Paris being delayed, but he took to Instagram to deliver a heartfelt message.
“My heart is with the courageous people of Ukraine who are standing firmly with their values of freedom and peace,” he said.
“I’m certain I’m not alone in feeling like out day-to-day feels heavier, and sometimes trivial, knowing this crisis is happening in our world.”
He then raised awareness for the Disasters Emergency Committee, a group of charities aiming to help those affected by the conflict in Eastern Europe.
“The Disasters Emergency Committee is an umbrella group of 15 of the UK’s leading aid charities, with local partners in Ukraine and across bordering countries,” added the 37-year-old.
“They are directing funds towards providing food and water, first aid, shelter and hygiene to those who need it most.
“They’re focused on training people to provide aid, support firefighters, repair vital infrastructure and more.”
Haas dropped their now former name partner Uralkali as a sponsor, leaving Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, whose seat was paid for by father, oligarch and part owner of the Potash producing firm Dmitry, out of a drive.
He has been replaced by Kevin Magnussen, with the Dane making an unexpected return following a year out.