Jan.19 - Russia's first Formula 1 driver has blasted the sport for interfering with the professional careers of Russian athletes.

At present, as a result of the Ukraine crisis, the world auto racing governing body requires Russian drivers to sign a special document and race under a neutral flag in FIA-sanctioned events.

Axed Haas driver Nikita Mazepin lost his Haas seat over the situation early last year, and now Vitaly Petrov has questioned the legitimacy of other events like the Dakar rally which this year was missing notable Russian names.

First Russian F1 driver calls for return of Russia to world sport

Vitaly Petrov with his trophy after finishing 3rd in 2011 Australian F1 GP

"Without Russia, I do not consider a single champion or Olympic title to be valid," Petrov, who became F1's first ever Russian driver in 2010 until he lost his seat in late 2012, told Sport-Express.

"We need to stop being afraid of our people and return Russia to world sport."

When told that the FIA does allow Russian drivers to compete under certain special conditions, the 38-year-old added: "Everyone can decide for themself, but I would not do this.

"For me it is not acceptable. I don't understand at all this nonsense of some views being imposed on people."

However, Petrov says the bright side for Russian motor racing is that the sport could actually thrive under the current circumstances.

"Of course it is sad, but if all the strongest drivers are competing within Russia, this will greatly increase the competition and the overall level," he said.

"People will try different categories and new cars and a new audience will appear. We can use the current situation as an impetus for the development of motorsport," Petrov added. "To train the young ones in order to guide them further in the future.

"After all, this isolation will not last forever.

"I understand that it is difficult but no one should give up. I myself wanted to compete in Formula 1 all my life, so I understand the young drivers very well.

"But they need to be patient, to train and to believe, so that when there is an opportunity to return, we all will be ready."


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11 F1 Fan comments on “First Russian F1 driver calls for return of Russia to world sport

  1. Blo

    Without any provocation Russia has invaded another country, is killing thousands of its people and seems intent on raising it to the ground and this arsehole expects to be able to carry on as normal! Is he being paid by the state, of course he is. Sickening.

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  2. shroppyfly

    Id never defend Putin , but ill just say , Europe saw the build up of troops for weeks and like the lethargic old dog it is , it did bugga all, the whole thing could have been avoided by placing some Euro troops on the Border, its a bit like the police saying, well we cant do anything till a crimes been committed (AGAIN) ala Crimea--what did the west do , yep , feck all and we are where we are, but Europe has more History than that , Here's a good idea, said Turkey , lets invade Cyprus in 74, while the west gets fat and lazy, As for Petrov, or Petdog as hes better off being called, another nobody in the f1 world,

    Just saying.........And we think our governments know what there doing? Ive said it before get Hamilton in on the job, hes right about everything else.

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    • BigSkyBob

      "They are weak. I know it. I took advantage of that fact," sure sounds like an excuse for Putin. It is similar to suggestions that women who walk alone on the streets at night bare some responsibility for their rapes.

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  3. BigSkyBob

    His claim that the West needs to stop being afraid of Russians is simply counterfactual. The plain reality that Ukrainians are a separate and distinct people than Russians with a separate and distinct culture. But, the average Russian simply does not believe those facts. The average Ukrainian has a very good reason to hate Russians: they starved over six million of their people to death, and, then began a second policy of genocide by make childbearing excessively expensive, while selectively subsidizing the fertility of ethnic Russians. Just because the Russian boot was firmly on the neck of the Ukrainian people in the past doesn't excuse doing it the future. Joining NATO is the only logic path for the Ukrainians. Russians won't recognize their sovereignty because they don't fundamentally even believe they exist. There simply is a severe sickness in the Russian soul. Putin merely reflects it.

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  4. John Mitchell

    Keep Russia out of everything until they withdraw from Ukraine. I know it is not the normal Russian people just the rot and idiots at the top. If only all the people in Russia knew the actual truth instead of the bull*hit that Putin and his under the thumb cronies spread they might sympathise with the rest of the world.

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