Russian drivers forbidden by FIA from running as Russians (Update)

(GMM) Vitaly Petrov has slammed the decision that will prevent F1 rookie Nikita Mazepin from racing under the Russian flag in 2021.

The Russian automobile federation has confirmed that the World Anti-Doping Agency’s sanctions mean that every Russian competitor taking part in world championships for the next two years will have to do so as a ‘neutral athlete’.

If Mazepin wins a race for Haas, the Russian anthem will also not be played.

Vitaly Petrov

“This is completely absurd,” former F1 driver Petrov said.

“I think every athlete should be responsible only for his own actions. If he was doping and caught, only then should he be deprived of his privileges,” he added.

“To me it is completely incomprehensible that Russian athletes who train honestly, put all their strength and their health into something and then they are forbidden to defend their flag or hear their anthem, are stopped by WADA.

“I am sure Russia will fight this because otherwise it would make no sense for our children to go into sports, wasting their time and energy to not have the opportunity to represent our country properly,” Petrov said.

February 7, 2021 

Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin and other Russian competitors in FIA-run championships are forbidden from racing under the country’s flag for a period of two years beginning December 17, 2020.

The Russian Automobile Federation (RAF), a member club of the FIA, announced on Friday the sport’s governing body had clarified the impact a December ruling of the Court of Arbitration (CAS) for Sport will have on motor racing.

The CAS upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) ruling that RUSADA had breached the World Anti-Doping Code. In its judgement the CAS imposed restrictions on “any athlete from Russia” participating in “any world championships organized or sanctioned by any signatory.” The FIA is a signatory to WADA.

The decision prevents Mazepin and other Russian drivers in world championship motorsports from using the image of the Russian flag, or its national symbols such as the two-headed eagle, on their sporting equipment. They are permitted to incorporate the colors of the Russian flag.

They may only use the name ‘Russia’ if it is displayed as prominently as the phrase ‘neutral athlete’. The names ‘Russia’, ‘Russian’, and ‘Russian Automobile Federation’ are otherwise forbidden, though the acronym ‘RAF’ may be used.

The drivers are also forbidden from displaying the Russian flag, including historical versions, or the name ‘Russia’ or associated national symbols in public at FIA-run competitions.

The Russian National Anthem cannot be played at the Russian Grand Prix, nor if a Russian driver happens to win an FIA sanctioned event of any kind – Formula 1, Formula E, the World Endurance Championship (WEC), World Rally Championship (WRC), Formula 2 (F2), World Rallycross Championship and karting world championships.