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FIA to allow Russian drivers to compete under neutral flag following meeting of World Motor Sport Council

The FIA has taken the decision to allow Russian and Belarusian drivers to compete under a neutral flag, following an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council on Tuesday.

The meeting, announced by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem to discuss “the ongoing crisis in Ukraine”, concluded with the decision that Russian drivers would be allowed to compete in top-level motorsport, so long as they do so under a neutral flag.

The FIA President said: “As you know, the FIA is watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and I hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation.

“We condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and our thoughts are with all those suffering as a result of the events in Ukraine. I would like to stress that the FIA, together with our promoters, proactively acted on this matter last week and communicated accordingly on the Formula 1, Formula 2, WTCR and the International Drifting Cup. An updated version of the different FIA International Calendars will be presented to the WMSC meeting in Bahrain for approval.”

The full statement read:

“Council members approved the following, in line with the International Olympic Committee recommendations, with immediate effect:

-No international/zone competitions to take place in Russia and Belarus, until further notice
-No flag/symbol or anthem of Russia/Belarus to be used in international/zone competitions, until further notice
-No Russian/Belarusian national teams to participate in international/zone competitions (e.g. FIA Motorsport Games), until further notice
-Russian/Belarusian drivers, individual competitors and officials to participate in international/zone competitions only in their neutral capacity and under the “FIA flag”, subject to specific commitment and adherence to the FIA’s principles of peace and political neutrality, until further notice
-No Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, flags (uniform, equipment and car)- should be displayed or anthems should be played at international/zone competitions, until further notice
-Representatives from Russian/Belarusian FIA Members to step aside temporarily from their roles and responsibilities of elected officers/commissions’ members*
-No FIA grant to be awarded to the Russian/Belarusian FIA Members, until further notice*
-No existing FIA grant funding will be paid to the Russian/Belarusian FIA Members*
-Upon proposal of the F1 Commercial Rights Holder, cancellation of the 2022 Russian F1 Grand Prix for reason of Force Majeure.

*Subject to the approval of the World Council for Automobile Mobility and Tourism”

The FIA President added: “I want to thank the Council members for their prompt action in deciding these measures in the interests of sport and peace. We stand in solidarity with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the President of the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine (FAU) and the wider FIA family in the country. The measures taken today recognise the authority of the FAU in Ukraine and are also aligned with the recommendations recently made by the International Olympic Committee. We are in active discussions with our members as we continue to extend our compassion and support in their time of need. We sincerely hope for a peaceful resolution to their intolerable hardship.”

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