On 2 March 2022, Motorsport UK – the organisation that governs motor racing in the United Kingdom – has released a statement regarding the immediate suspension of Russian and Belarusian drivers, teams and flags from British racing events. This announcement comes just one day after a meeting was held by the FIA governing body to discuss the current events occurring in Ukraine.
Motorsport has already been impacted by the situation between Russia and Ukraine, with many Russian drivers being uncertain about their seats in 2022, as well as Russian sponsors being pulled from car liveries. The Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix also suspended its plans for a 2022 event earlier this week.
The chair of Motorsport UK, David Richards CBE, has commented on the matter, “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.”
“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).”
The measures Motorsport UK have put into place mean Russian and Belarusian drivers, teams, sponsors, colour schemes and national symbols will not be permitted within British motorsport events. Below are the criteria that was released in Motorsport UK’s statement:
- “No Russian/Belarusian licenced teams are approved to enter motorsport competitions in the UK”
- “No Russian/Belarusian licenced competitors and officials are approved to participate in UK motorsport events”
- “No Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, flags (on uniform, equipment and car) to be displayed at Motorsport UK permitted events”
The press release states that this decision was made following a consultation with the UK Government and national sport governing bodies in order to “ensure that there is a unilateral response to the crisis.”