Yesterday the FIA released their sanctions on Russian and Belarusian drivers competing in their series, and stated that those drivers would be unable to race under their national flag. This was a less severe restriction than the IOC and football governing bodies had imposed on Russian competitors following on from the invasion of Ukraine.
Today, according to BBC News and other sources, Motorsport UK have effectively banned drivers from sanctioned countries from competing in races in the UK by refusing to recognise their racing licenses.
Mazepin’s participation in the 2022 season for Haas was already in doubt. The driver brings significant sponsorship to the team via his father’s ownership of Uralkali, and existing sanctions against Russian owned businesses meant that the team withdrew all branding from their car during the final day of the Barcelona test. Without the availability of that sponsorship money, it was thought likely that his seat in the car would be taken by test driver Pietro Fittipaldi who raced for Haas in two races in 2020 (Sakhir Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix) as a stand-in for injured Romain Grosjean.
Although Motorsport UK is the only governing body at this point who have refused to recognise Russian drivers’ licenses, if other councils go down the same route – as they are likely to do – it will make it almost impossible for Mazepin to retain his seat and take part in the championship