Mazepin banned from racing in 2022 British GP, other countries may follow suit

Calls have been made for all Russian and Belarusian athletes to be banned from international competition following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The FIA has confirmed that Russian and Belarusian drivers will still be permitted to race amid the war between Russia and Ukraine.

As a result of Vladimir Putin’s “unprovoked” invasion, Haas opted to remove Uralkali branding from their cars, trucks and motorhomes during last week’s pre-season test in Barcelona.

Furthermore, sanctions against Russia may prevent the Russian company, part-owned by Nikita Mazepin’s father Dmitry, from transferring funds to the team.

Following a meeting with fellow members of the motorsport governing body, President Mohammed ben Sulayem announced that “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.”

This precludes Uralkali from featuring on the Haas cars or team apparel, but it does not seem to place restrictions on funding from Russian or Belarusian companies.

Mazepin’s future now appears to depend entirely on whether Haas are able to continue to receive funding from Uralkali.

“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,” the FIA said in a statement.

Ben Sulayem affirmed the FIA’s position against the aggression Russia is currently imposing on its neighbour.

“The FIA is watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and I hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation,” he said.

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“We condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and our thoughts are with all those suffering as a result of the events in Ukraine.”

Under “Force Majeure,” it has also been officially declared that the Russian Grand Prix, which was set to be held in September, has been cancelled.

However, chair of Motorsport UK, David Richards, projected a much stronger evaluation of the war in Eastern Europe, and maintains that the UK’s governing body stands with Ukraine against the terror orchestrated by Russia.

“The entire Motorsport UK community condemns the acts of war by Russia and Belarus in Ukraine and expresses its solidarity and support towards all those affected by the ongoing conflict,” he said.

“We stand united with the people of Ukraine and the motorsport community following the invasion and the unacceptable actions that have unfolded. This is a time for the international motorsport community to act and show support for the people of Ukraine and our colleagues at the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine (FAU).”

He also confirmed that no Russian or Belarusian drivers, competitors, colours, flags or branding will be permitted at UK motorsport events, meaning that Mazepin will be unable to compete in the British Grand Prix in July.

Other countries may also choose to ban Russian racing drivers from competing in motorsport events held on their territory.