Photo Credit: Jedimentat44
By Clarissa Monet Brown
Due to the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, the World Motor Sports Council has decided to cancel its contract with the promoter of the Russian Grand Prix, stating that Russia “will not have a race.” The council’s decision motivated Formula 1 to legally distance itself from Russia. The move cancels a race scheduled to take place in Sochi on September 25. As a further consequence, an additional contract with Russia running through 2025 was also canceled. The bans were also extended to Belarus in response to the aid provided to Russia during the invasion of Ukraine. F1 stated that both Russia and Belarus would face consequences including the removal of Russian and Belarusian elected FIA officials, ineligibility for FIA grants, and a ban on FIA competitions being held in either country.
In a move by Motorsport UK—the governing body for four-wheel motorsports in the United Kindom—Russian and Belarusian drivers will no longer have their licenses recognized and will be effectively barred from competition. The decision of various international bodies to penalize Russia for its continued aggression against Ukraine has been heavily influenced by recommendations from the International Olympics Committee, as stated by chairman David Richards of Motorsport UK. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused ripples not just in motorsports but throughout the sports world. The International Tennis Federation has pushed back against Russia by instituting a ban on players representing Russia or Belarus. Even strategic board games have not escaped the effects of Russia’s invasion, with the International Chess Federation prohibiting games from being held in either country as well.