Teams make ‘generous donations’ as FIA sets up humanitarian taskforce for Ukraine

The FIA has pledged one million euros to help the people of Ukraine that have been affected by Russia's invasion.

The FIA have established a humanitarian taskforce that will collaborate with charities to provide financial aid for those in need amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nearly a month ago now, Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded a full-scale invasion of their neighbours following months of tensions as Russian troops were sent to the border.

The situation has now descended into a war, and the FIA estimate that around 6.5 million people in total have been displaced from their homes as a result of the conflict, while 12 million have been directly affected.

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Their initial response was swift; they imposed a ban on colours, flags and symbols from either Russia or Belarus – the nation that has aided the invasion – from appearing in global motorsport, and made the expeditious decision to remove September’s Russian Grand Prix from the calendar.

Formula 1 itself would then terminate its contract with the organisers of the Russian Grand Prix.

Heavy financial sanctions have been imposed on Russia, and oligarch Dmitry Mazepin has seen sanctions placed on himself personally after Haas made the decision to drop his Uralkali company as a partner, leaving his son Nikita out of a seat. The 23-year-old himself has also been sanctioned due to his father’s links to Putin.

Motorsport UK has also prohibited Russian and Belarusian athletes from contesting motorsport events in the country, and the FIA placed a contingency on drivers from either of those nations racing that they must race under a neutral flag and sign a document condemning Russia’s actions.

Ferrari have recently donated one million euros towards humanitarian aid, which also goes towards the temporary housing for refugees in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy.

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The FIA have now done the same, confirming that they are to split the funds between “The Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as a charitable contribution.”

Mohammed ben Sulayem, president of the world’s motorsport governing body, hopes to alleviate some of the pain the people of Ukraine are going through, and hopes for a peaceful resolution to the conflict as soon as possible.

“In collaboration with the FIA foundation, and with the support of the IFRC and the UNHCR, we are combining our FIA resources to support the humanitarian effort in Ukraine and neighbouring countries,” he said in a statement.

“We are indebted to the initiatives of our Member Clubs and the FIA Foundation in making a contribution to easing the plight of all those affected by the invasion of Ukraine.

“We hope for a peaceful outcome to the conflict.”

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All 20 F1 drivers are expected to gather on the grid ahead of Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix to raise awareness for UNICEF’s programmes as they seek to help children and families affected by the war.

The sport and its teams are said to have made a “generous donation” to the cause.