Daniil Kvyat’s new chapter of his motorsport career appears to be over before it has even begun with new team G-Drive pulling out of the World Endurance Championship.
Russia has been hit with a wide range of sanctions since beginning their invasion of Ukraine and those restrictions have seeped into the sporting world as well.
The International Olympic Committee recommended that all of its associated governing bodies enforced a complete ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing until further notice and, while that ban has been widely implemented, the FIA did not take that tough stance.
Instead, they were willing to let Russian and Belarusian drivers to continuing competing if they agreed to a series of new terms and conditions for the foreseeable future.
On March 4, the FIA published a ‘Driver Commitment’ form where drivers needed to comply with the World Motor Sport Council’s decisions, acknowledge the strong commitment made by the FIA in their solidarity with Ukraine and agree to race under a neutral FIA flag.
Drivers are also not allowed to display Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, or flags publicly, via social media or via their clothing.
In the world of Formula 1, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spelt the end of Nikita Mazepin’s F1 career with Haas opting to cut all ties with the Mazepin family instead of letting Nikita continuing under a neutral flag – something he says he was willing to do, but ultimately his request was ignored.
— Nikita Mazepin (@nikita_mazepin) March 5, 2022
And now the sanctions have had an effect on ex-Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat, who was looking ahead to joining the World Endurance Championship on a full-time basis.
Kvyat initially made his stance very clear in a now deleted social media post, saying he was against a complete ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes.
“I really hope for a peaceful solution to this situation in Ukraine, and that we can all live in peace,” he said.
“Hopefully all parties can find a solution by sitting together and through a respected dialogue. It horrifies me to see two brotherhood nations in a conflict.
“I don’t want military actions and wars to influence the future of humanity. I want my daughter and all children to enjoy this beautiful world.
“I would also like to highlight and address all sports federations across the world, including IOC, that sport should remain outside politics, and disallowing Russian athletes and teams from participating in world competitions is an unfair solution and goes against what sport teaches us in principle: the unity and peace.
“Who else if not us sports people will help to glue nations together in the upcoming times.”
Not only has Kvyat refused to sign the FIA’s new declaration form, according to RacingNews365, but his new team G-Drive have pulled out of the series completely.
G-Drive team principal Roman Rusinov said in a short Instagram post that he would “not put my signature on this document”.
With G-Drive’s involvement in WEC seemingly already over, Rusinov added that “we are already looking at different projects to develop motorsports in our country” and expressed hope of being “able to return to international racing” again in future.
G-Drive is a brand of energy company Gazprom.
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