Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine the FIA imposed restrictions on Belarussian and Russian license holders though created a loophole for Russian drivers to compete as ‘Neutral Drivers”. However, visa ‘problems will prevent Formula three’s Alexander Smolyar from competing this weekend in Silverstone.
The Haas team chose to not to allow Russian driver Nikita Mazarin to drive for them under the FIA neutral flag sacking him and terminating their contract with Russian sponsor Ukrali.
Team boss Gunther Steiner explained why Haas had acted. “There was a lot of intense criticism about the Ukrainian invasion and it was just getting overwhelming.
“We can’t deal with all that, our other sponsors can’t deal with all that,” Haas told The Associated Press on the starting grid of the NASCAR race in Las Vegas.
Now International Politics will see Alexander Smolyar excluded from round 7 of the Formula 3 championship. Smolyar has competed this season as an Authorised Neutral Driver and has raced in a blank red livery unlike his team mates Caio Collett and Kush Main
However, Motorsport UK has issued stricter rules than the FIA regarding Russian competitors barring Russian and Belarussian competitors regardless of whether they compete under a neutral flag.
Smolyar’s MP team have now confirmed their Russian driver will not take his place in the F3 field at Silverstone this weekend stating:
“Due to UK visa issues, Alex Smolyar is not able to participate in round four at Silverstone.”
Smolyar is 6th in the championship after 6 rounds and will be replaced by Filip Ugran for this weekends races.