F1 News

Mazepin might not be allowed to race under the Russian flag

30 January at 10:40
Last update 30 January at 13:40
  • GPblog.com

The arrival of Nikita Mazepin has caused a stir in Formula 1 in recent months. This is mainly due to some controversial actions of the driver himself, but this time there might be something going on which is completely out of his control.

Last December, the international sports tribunal CAS finally reached a verdict in the Russian doping case, with the result that Russia will not be allowed to participate in sporting events for the next two years. Russian athletes are allowed to do so, but only under a neutral flag.

This punishment is of course mainly meant to keep Russia out of the Olympics, but it might also have consequences for Mazepin, says Alexey Popov, F1 commentator for Match TV. During the Monte Carlo Rally last week, a Russian driver (Nikolay Gryazin) had to start as a 'neutral' participant.

No national anthem for Mazepin?

"There is a solution," says Popov. "In many sports, they now compete under the flag of the national sports federation, in this case, it would be the Russian Automobile Federation." While this does not change the issue of a possible national anthem, Popov admits that the chances are slim that Mazepin will step onto the top step of the podium.

Mazepin has already let it be known that he thinks that he is getting so much negative attention a result of anti-Russian sentiment. These recent developments will not take that feeling away from him. How far the Russian exile can go is shown by doubts about the Russian Grand Prix. According to Popov, it should possibly be renamed to the Sochi or Krasnodar Grand Prix.