Russian driver Mazepin barred from British Grand Prix

By Sports Desk March 02, 2022

Russian driver Nikita Mazepin will be barred from competing for Haas at the British Grand Prix following measures introduced by Britain's national motorsport authority in response to the situation in Ukraine.

The FIA confirmed on Tuesday that Russian and Belarusian drivers would be allowed to compete in Formula One this season under a neutral flag.

However, Motorsport UK will not allow drivers, teams or officials from those nations to take part at Silverstone in early July, meaning Mazepin will miss out. The ban spans across all motorsports in the United Kingdom.

Motorsport UK chair David Richards, in accordance with the board of the organisation, made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday, a week on from Russia's initial invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

"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," Richards said.

"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)."

Motorsport UK says the decision was "taken in full consultation with the UK government and national sports governing bodies to ensure that there is a unilateral response to the crisis".

Richards added: "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."

Mazepin is the only Russian driver on the F1 grid, with the 22-year-old due to start his second season in Bahrain later this month.

He finished bottom of the drivers' standings in 2021 and his future with Haas was already in doubt prior to Wednesday's announcement, with just three weeks to go until the 2022 season begins.

The Russian Grand Prix, which was due to take place in September, has already been cancelled by F1 chiefs, with the FIA describing that as a decision taken "for reason of force majeure".

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