FIA to hold ‘extraordinary’ WMSC meeting after call for Russia ban

Formula 1's governing body the FIA has announced it will hold an “extraordinary meeting” of the World Motor Sport Council on Tuesday to discuss the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 
Nikita Mazepin (RUS) Haas F1 Team VF-22.
Nikita Mazepin (RUS) Haas F1 Team VF-22.

On Monday, Ukraine’s motorsport authority called on the FIA to ban all Russian and Belarusian drivers from competing on an international basis in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

That was followed by a statement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which asked all sports to block Russian and Belarusian athletes, officials and teams from International competitions. The FIA has been recognised by the IOC since 2012. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has been met with major economic sanctions from Western countries, while his orders have received worldwide condemnation. 

The crisis has spilled over into world sport, with FIFA and UEFA announcing on Monday the suspension of Russia’s national and club teams from its football competitions until further notice. 

F1’s Russian Grand Prix, scheduled to take place on September 25 in Sochi, has already been cancelled. 

On Monday evening, the FIA confirmed a meeting of the WMSC would be held on Tuesday to discuss the Russia-Ukraine situation. 

"An extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council will be convened tomorrow to discuss matters relating to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine,” an FIA spokesperson said in a statement issued to 

"Further updates will be given following the meeting.”

Nikita Mazepin (RUS) Haas F1 Team VF-22.
Nikita Mazepin (RUS) Haas F1 Team VF-22.

Any ban on Russian athletes would impact Nikita Mazepin, whose Haas F1 team is sponsored by Uralkali, a company co-owned by his Russian billionaire father Dmitry, who has close ties to Putin. 

Mazepin’s F1 future has already been cast into doubt after Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the team needed to resolve the situation internally this week. 

Haas ran its 2022 F1 car in a plain white livery on the final day of pre-season testing at Barcelona last week, having removed its Uralkali sponsorship in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The likes of ex-F1 driver Daniil Kvyat, Ferrari junior Robert Shwartzman, Formula 3 driver Alexander Smoylar, and World Endurance Championship outfit G-Drive Racing, could also be impacted. 

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