FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem chaired an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) to address matters relating to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, with Russian drivers banned from racing in the governing body‘s sanctioned events unless they renounce their flag.
This means that Nikita Mazepin may not be racing for Haas, at least not for the start of the season as the invasion intensifies into a full-scale war, unless he is prepared to not carry the Russian flag.
In a statement after the (WMSC) meeting, it was confirmed that “No Russian/Belarusian national teams to participate in international/zone competitions (e.g. FIA Motorsport Games), until further notice” however providing a loophole by allowing “officials 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.
FIA President Ben Sulayem Statement:
In his opening remarks to the meeting, the FIA President said: “As you know, 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.
“We condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and our thoughts are with all those suffering as a result of the events in Ukraine. I would like to stress that the FIA, together with our promoters, proactively acted on this matter last week and communicated accordingly on Formula 1, Formula 2, WTCR and the International Drifting Cup.
“An updated version of the different FIA International Calendars will be presented to the WMSC meeting in Bahrain for approval.”
In accordance with the International Olympic Committee recommendations, Council members approved the following decisions to be implemented with immediate effect:
Competitions organized on the territory of Russia and Belarus
No international/zone competitions to take place in Russia and Belarus, until further notice
No flag/symbol or anthem of Russia/Belarus to be used in international/zone competitions, until further notice
Drivers, competitors and officials
No Russian/Belarusian national teams to participate in international/zone competitions (e.g. FIA Motorsport Games), until further notice
Russian/Belarusian drivers, individual competitors and officials 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
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
Elected officers/Commissions’ members
Representatives from Russian/Belarusian FIA Members to step aside temporarily from their roles and responsibilities of elected officers/commissions’ members *
No FIA grant to be awarded to the Russian/Belarusian FIA Members, until further notice *
No existing FIA grant funding will be paid to the Russian/Belarusian FIA Members * * Subject to the approval of the World Council for Automobile Mobility and Tourism
International Sporting Calendar
Upon proposal of the F1 Commercial Rights Holder, cancellation of the 2022 Russian F1 Grand Prix for reason of Force Majeure.
Ben Sulayem concluded: “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.
“The measures taken today recognise the authority of the FAU in Ukraine and are also aligned with the recommendations recently made by the International Olympic Committee.
“We are in active discussions with our members as we continue to extend our compassion and support in their time of need. We sincerely hope for a peaceful resolution to their intolerable hardship.”