Decision has significant implications for the summer’s F1 British GP, where Haas driver Mazepin is due to compete
Racing governing body Motorsport UK has banned Russian and Belarussian licence holders from competing in the UK.
The decision is a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and is part of a wide range of sanctions and restrictions targeted against the two countries.
The Motorsport UK ban will have an impact on the British Grand Prix in July because Haas’s Russian driver, Nikita Mazepin, will, as it stands, be unable to compete. It’s unclear whether he has multiple passports and an international licence.
Haas’s title sponsor is Uralkali, a Russian company owned by Mazepin’s father, but the team says that situation is currently under review, with a decision reportedly due soon.
The Motorsport UK ban will mean that no Russian- or Belarussian-licenced teams can compete here and nor will their officials allowed to participate. No national symbols, colours, flags or anthems will be allowed.
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).”
The UK ban is a step on from measures announced by the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body, which had previously cancelled the Russian Grand Prix but will still allow Russian and Belarussian drivers to compete in races, albeit under neutral flags.
Yesterday, the FIA said it won’t allow any international competition to take place within Russia or Belarus. In addition, it will require any Russian or Belarussian driver and team to race under a neutral FIA flag.