Mar.7 - Sergio Perez is not so sure Formula 1 is on the right track by pushing Nikita Mazepin off the 2022 grid because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The American team Haas has severed its ties with title sponsor Uralkali, a Russian fertiliser company, whose figurehead is Mazepin's father Dmitry.

22-year-old Mazepin's "driver contract" is also terminated, Haas announced, explaining that F1 and the team is "shocked and saddened" by the war.

It's just a small part of a global frenzy of action against the international Russian community, including sporting events and athletes.

"In a way, Russian athletes are paying for Putin's war," Red Bull driver Sergio Perez told Marca.

"I don't agree with that, because I believe that athletes are not responsible for what the Russian president is doing."

Before Haas' decision, Britain's auto racing federation had already banned Mazepin from racing at Silverstone, and now German authorities are following suit.

"We want to do our part to increase the international pressure on the regime in Moscow to end the war immediately," said Wolfgang Wagner-Sachs, president of the German Motor Sport Association DMSB.

"Sport should normally build bridges, but in this extreme situation caused by Russia, clear signals must be sent against the aggressors," he added.

Many are supportive of the anti-Russia measures within sport, including the FIA's decision to force any Russian driver to sign a 'driver commitment' promising to "stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine".

It is understood former AlphaTauri driver Daniil Kvyat has refused to sign the document, as have rally raid rider Anastasia Nifontova and sports car star Roman Rusinov.

"Sports should be out of politics," Nifontova said. "The IOC and FIA are actually blackmailing athletes into taking one side."

Rusinov agrees: "I refused to accept the discriminatory conditions of the FIA.

"For the sake of my fans, my teammates and sporting honour, I will not sign this document. I'd rather not drive at all."

Mazepin, however, claims it was Haas who "completely ignored" his willingness to accept the conditions.

"I'm in two minds," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told Bloomberg.

"It's difficult for Nikita, who proved he can hold his own in F1. We have both Ukrainians and Russians on our team, and it's certainly not an easy situation for them."

Famous Dutch F1 commentator Olav Mol told Ziggo Sport: "Nikita Mazepin's father does have certain contacts, but if your father was wrong in a war, are you wrong too?"

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko thinks the permanent Russian GP axe is justified, but he also told Osterreich newspaper: "Individual athletes too?

"No. There must be no personal liability. Or do you also want to forbid Anna Netrebko from singing?" said the 78-year-old Austrian, referring to the Russian soprano who has in fact voluntarily stepped down for now.


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16 F1 Fan comments on “Perez says Russian athletes 'paying for Putin's war'

  1. f1award

    Rubbish driver anyway and backed by what is ultimately Russian state money. If there had been a F1 GP race in 1944 would we have allowed Geoebbels son or daughter to race. Hit them hard it's the only ways their crimes will stop.

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  2. John

    So the Russian war is nothing todo with Athletes or sportsmen!!

    The Russian gymnast stands on the podium in silver place next to the Ukrainian athlete and the Russian proudly display the V symbol he put in his vest as do the Russian Tanks and field guns being used in Ukrainian 😡😡😡

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      John, no argument, but perhaps the V was a simple signal that he had won a medal, similar to VET's constant single digit expression during his RB days. The podium did precede any Russian tanks and I think the tank symbol is a Z.

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        • ReallyOldRacer

          Did you even READ or comprehend the original post??? The comment was re the use of V and not Z. Hating is OK and expected on these sites, idiocy is never acceptable. You are the latter (not the later). You continue to ignore FACTS. Back to the dead for you.

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  3. ReallyOldRacer

    MAZspin's liability here is that his place on the grid is the result of his sanctioned oligarch father's buy-in. He would not have the seat based on merit.

    Re drivers signing a 'driver commitment' document.....total hypocrisy. We cajole them to STFU+D and then, when convenient, insist that they take a political position.

    Personally, I agree with Russian $$$ sanctions and that Ukraine warrants international support. So, what about Zhou? Should he be thrown out because of Chinese genocide?

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      • ReallyOldRacer

        Memory fogs over with time but I don't remember politics being such a big part of F1. Jody Scheckter and apartheid come to mind. We did not hold him responsible for his guv's indiscretions. Is our sport becoming a bit too 'woke', or am I just not keeping up?

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        • shroppyfly

          Oh your right , its a bit to woke, a bit to pc, but yrs do fog the mind, different era with Jody S, , these days when shitt happens in the world we get it immediately uncensored, but i say NATO is useless imo, the events in last 2 weeks have proved that, and whilst i agree on sanctions, they wont stop Putin , because Europe's scared are losing there gas supply, its pitiful, but that's the reality

          In 2022 wars are fought still the same way they were fought in ww2, except OIL and GAS are the ammunition and prizes this time

          As for the politicians, Boris cant do like Polands doing and let unlimited refugees in, due to Brexit arguments, its political suicide if he does, and Macron , haa hes even worse , all that hes thinking about is May elections to get re elected, and the powerhouse of Europe -Germany---Zero influence on the situation

          Putin basically toying with Europe, cause there's bugger all it can do, he knows it , the West knows it

          Rant over for now, lets go testing

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          • f1award

            "In 2022 wars are fought still the same way they were fought in ww2, except OIL and GAS are the ammunition and prizes this time" not in this case.

          • shroppyfly

            "In 2022 wars are fought still the same way they were fought in ww2, except OIL and GAS are the ammunition and prizes this time" not in this case.

            Er Yes on both counts, or did you miss the fact that Poland and Bulgaria are out of a gas supply and that panicky Germany is sending 50 tanks to Ukr.

            Having said that Germany might have a rethink now there neighbours Gas has been turned off..

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