Former Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat sees the possibility of Russian athletes being banned from international competition as an “unfair solution,” especially as athletes play a vital role in bringing people together.
Russia began a horrifying invasion of Ukraine last week and, as a result, FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem held a meeting on Tuesday with fellow members of the governing body to discuss the future of Russian superlicense holders.
Any revocation of Russian licenses would render Kvyat, Formula 2 driver Robert Shwartzman and Haas driver Nikita Mazepin unable to compete for the foreseeable future.
Kvyat, above all else, wants to see a peaceful resolution to the terrifying conflict in Ukraine.
“I really hope for a peaceful solution to this situation in Ukraine, and that we can all live in peace,” he posted on social media on Tuesday.
“Hopefully all parties can find a solution by sitting together and through a respected dialogue.
“It horrifies me to see two brotherhood nations in a conflict. I don’t want military actions and wars to influence the future of humanity. I want my daughter and all children to enjoy this beautiful world.”
Regarding widespread calls for the prohibition of Russian athletes continuing to participate in international sport, the Ufa-born racer maintains that sportspeople around the globe can play a role in achieving and maintaining peace.
“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 added.
“Who else if not us sports people will help to glue nations together in the upcoming times?”
After the meeting, the FIA released a statement revealing that Russian drivers will still be permitted to race, but will have to use the neutral white flag, as they have done since the beginning of 2021.
“Russian/Belarusian drivers, individual competitors to participate in international/zone competitions only in their neutral capacity and under the ‘FIA flag’ subject to specific commitment and adherence to the FIA’s principles of peace and political neutrality, until further notice,” they said.
Former F1 driver Karun Chandhok has since stated that he is “disappointed” by the decision, adding that he had hoped for a “stronger stand” on the matter.
However, there is still ambiguity over the future of Mazepin since Uralkali, the Russian firm in which his oligarch father Dmitry owns shares, had its branding stripped by the team during pre-season testing in Barcelona.
They are still understood to have a partnership of sorts with the company, but the now convoluted legal situation leaves a situation around the 22-year-old that team principal Guenther Steiner has said “needs to be resolved” particularly as Dmitry’s money pays for his son’s drive.
Further, Russian and Belarusian sponsors – as Belarus has aided Russia in its invasion – have now been banned from displaying their branding on any cars or team apparel.
“No Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, flags (uniform, equipment and car) – should be displayed or anthems should be played at international/zone competitions, until further notice,” the statement continued.
Formula1News.co.uk understands that sponsors from Russia and Belarus are still permitted to provide funding as the ban only extends to brand marketing.
The governing body also confirmed that its Russian and Belarusian members are to step aside for the time being.