Russian ex-F1 driver ‘refused’ to denounce Russia amid invasion of Ukraine

Daniil Kvyat retired during his Nascar debut last weekend at Indianapolis.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri driver Daniil Kvyat made his Nascar debut last weekend; however, it ended in disappointment for the Russian driver.

The 28-year-old retired from the race, where he languished at the back of the pack.

Kvyat has signed a deal with Team Hezeberg to compete at the remaining road course races this season, which saw him race on the Indianapolis Road Course last weekend.

READ: ‘Are we live?’ Christian Horner jokes about catastrophic Ferrari blunder

The Russian driver was given special permission to race in the American series, having refused to sign an FIA document denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It was very nice to get a chance in Nascar,” Kvyat said.

“It’s a great example of sportsmanship.

“Sports are for everyone here, and that’s great,” he added.

Kvyat directed this final comment at world sporting organisations, which have stopped many Russian athletes from competing due to the ongoing conflict.

Article continues below

In motorsport, the FIA only allowed Russian drivers to continue racing in FIA series’ if they signed a document denouncing Russia.

The only other method was to change nationalities, something which former Formula 2 driver Robert Shwartzman did.

Shwartzman changed his nationality from Russian to Israeli, as a way to continue racing.

The Ferrari Driver Academy member was able to do so having been born in Israel, Kvyat didn’t have this option after being born in Ufa, Russia.

Kvyat was denied access to racing in any FIA championship after failing to sign the document, as was fellow Russian driver Roman Rusinov.

The pair were due to race for Russian team G-Drive in the World Endurance Championship; however, the team were denied entry.

Viktor Kiryanov, a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council since 2009 and the president of Russia’s automobile federation, told Tass news agency the document story regarding Kvyat and Rusinov.

“It is an interesting story,” he began, “as Daniil and Rusinov were supposed to compete in endurance races.

“When the FIA asked them to sign a paper in which the drivers were supposed to oppose their country, they refused,” Kiryanov revealed.

READ: Damage spotted on Landi Nozza Norris’ car at Hungarian GP

Kiryanov hailed the duo, who have been extremely quiet this season so far.

The Russian automobile federation president believed that Kvyat’s poor Nascar debut was “understandable”, given that it was his first time.

“But this is understandable, as this is the first experience for Dani and the team as a whole is very young,” said the Russian.