Russian-licensed drivers banned from British motorsport

Russian-licensed drivers and teams are to be banned from competing in motorsport events in the UK, it was announced on Wednesday.

Russian-licensed drivers banned from British motorsport

Just one day after the FIA stopped short of following a recommendation from the International Olympic Committee to prevent Russia athletes from taking part in international events, Britain’s Motorsport UK has announced more draconian measures.

In a statement it announced that no Russian- or Belarusian-licensed teams, competitors or officials will be allowed to enter or participate in sanctioned events in the UK.

Furthermore, it said that no Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, or flags will be allowed to be displayed at Motorsport UK competitions.

The decision has been made following full consultation between Motorsport UK and the British government.

David Richards, who is the chair of Motorsport UK, said it was essential that strict action was taken to make clear the horror at Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.

“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 added: “It is our duty to use whatever influence and leverage we might have to bring this wholly unjustified invasion of Ukraine to a halt.

Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1 Team

Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1 Team

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

"We would encourage the motorsport community and our colleagues around the world to fully embrace the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee and do whatever we can to end this war.”

The Motorsport UK decision potentially has huge implications for drivers competing at international and national level.

It means that Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, who races for Haas in F1, would not be able to compete in this year’s British Grand Prix if the team decided to keep him on. A decision on his future at the American-owned team is expected to be made imminently.

The only way such drivers could continue would be to race under a different nationality’s licence, as the Motorsport UK decision is based on its refusal to recognise licences issued by the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) and the Belarus Automobile Federation (BAF).

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