Contrary to the FIA’s decision, Motorsport UK has banned all “Russian and Belarusian licenced competitors” from racing in events in the United Kingdom.
As a result Nikita Mazepin will not be allowed to line up on the grid at July’s British Grand Prix.
Mazepin’s Haas race seat is under threat with Russian companies and athletes facing sanctions following Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
Earlier this week the International Olympic Committee urged all sporting federations to “not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes” in their events.
The FIA decided not to take that approach.
Instead motorsport’s governing body declared on Tuesday that they will still be allowed to compete, but only in a “neutral capacity and under the FIA flag”.
Motorsport UK has taken a harder line, banning all Russian and Belarusian competitors from taking part in UK events.
— Ed Spencer (@EdSpencer99) March 2, 2022
David Richards, Chair of Motorsport UK, said: “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.
“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).
“It is our duty to use whatever influence and leverage we might have to bring this wholly unjustified invasion of Ukraine to a halt.
“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.”
“Motorsport UK stands united with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the President of the FAU, the Ukrainian motorsport community and the Ukrainian people and calls for the violence to end with a peaceful resolution.”
Motorsport UK therefore announced that “no Russian/Belarusian licenced teams are approved to enter motorsport competitions in the UK” and “no Russian/Belarusian licenced competitors and officials are approved to participate in UK motorsport events.”
Added to that the Russian and Belarusian national symbols, colours and flags may not be displayed.
The decision not only affects Mazepin but also Haas. The team is sponsored by Russian fertiliser company Uralkali with the car decked out in the red, white and blue of the Russian flag.
Despite insisting last year that the colours were not Russian, they’ll have to change that – along with the driver – for Silverstone.
That’s of course if the team even keeps Mazepin with Haas holding talks this week regarding Uralkali, the company that pays for his F1 race seat.
Giovinazzi joins Fittipaldi on Haas short list
Could Antonio Giovinazzi or Pietro Fittipaldi replace Nikita Mazepin at Haas?