Russia's Only Formula 1 Driver Partially Banned From Racing

Formula One / 6 Comments

His team will likely drop him, however.

Earlier today the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) had an emergency meeting to decide the fate of Russian and Belarusian involvement in global motorsport.

An earlier statement regarding the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi was quite vague, but the FIA's latest statements leave little room for interpretation.

While many have been hoping for an outright ban of Russian and Belarusian individuals, the FIA has been lenient. Individuals, like Nikita Mazepin, will be allowed to compete in the 2022 Formula 1 season under a few conditions.

According to the FIA's statement, "Russian/Belarusian drivers, individual competitors and officials may 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."

Meanwhile, Motorsport UK has announced that it would not recognize the racing licenses of Russian drivers until further notice. This means Mazepin may not race at the Silverstone Grand Prix in July.

Mazepin has not shown support for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, though his father's friendship with Vladimir Putin is well documented.
Haas F1 Team/Instagram Haas F1 Team/Instagram Haas

Things will not be as easy for the Haas Formula 1 team, which relies heavily on Russian sponsorship from Mazepin's father.

The FIA outlawed Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, flags, uniforms, equipment, and car branding. The Russian national anthem is also banned until further notice. Furthermore, the FIA will not pay any grants or funding to Russian or Belarusian teams.

Oddly, the FIA press release does not take a stance against sponsorship from Russian/Belarusian companies, on which Haas relies. Haas is technically an American team, owned by an American citizen, yet its title sponsor is Uralkali.

Uralkali is owned by Uralchem, owned by Dmitry Mazepin. It's no secret that Nikita Mazepin owes his seat to his father's generous donations to the sport, which is still allowed at the moment.

Haas F1 Team/Facebook Haas F1 Team/Facebook Haas F1 Team/Facebook Haas F1 Team/Facebook

Even so, Haas ditched all of its title sponsor's logos from its 2022 F1 car during the F1 testing in Barcelona recently. The car we saw testing on the final days looked nothing like the car unveiled earlier this year.

Haas has stated that it's not worried about sponsorship, and it will likely drop Mazepin as a driver. With no money coming from Uralkali, there's no need to keep Mazepin on board. And now that the UK will not allow him to race, Haas will lose out on possible driver's and constructor's championship points. In short, keeping Mazepin around is more trouble than it's worth.

To us, it looks like Mazepin will have to rely on his personal collection of cars to satisfy his need for speed. Lucky for him, that collection includes a McLaren 720S.

"I want to thank the Council members for their prompt action in deciding these measures in the interests of sport and peace. We stand in solidarity with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the President of the Federation Automobile d'Ukraine (FAU) and the wider FIA family in the country," said FIA president, President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

Haas F1 Team/Facebook Haas F1 Team/Facebook Haas F1 Team/Facebook

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