Former Formula 1 driver Vitaly Petrov has spoken out in defence of the people of his country. The former Formula 1 driver is questioning the legitimacy of the racing series because of the exclusion of Russian drivers. The Russian’s view of the work of the organisations that bring together motorsports is that they are too harshly interfering in the professional careers of Russian sportsmen and women for political reasons. What this means in practice, as I mentioned in an earlier article, is that Russian drivers are currently banned from competing under their national flag and are required to sign a separate document by the FIA if they wish to take part in the series under the organisation’s auspices. There have already been teams within Formula 1 that have terminated contracts with Russian companies and Russian drivers, citing the war. Petrov does not consider any championship or Olympic title legitimate without Russia. He calls for an end to the fear-mongering against his nation and for his country’s athletes to be allowed back into the sporting world.
Asked about the FIA allowing Russian drivers to compete under special conditions, the former driver said that it is everyone’s right to decide how ethical this is, but he does not consider it acceptable. In fact, he considers it absurd that certain views are imposed on people. The FIA therefore expects Russian drivers to deny their nationality, and therefore their identity, if racing is important to them. Deny their nationality in the certain knowledge that all existing sport in the world, when many people are involved in large-scale events, is about the clash of nations. It is, in fact, a kind of war surrogate, where, in peacetime, local patriots with nationalist sentiments, or patriots with more extreme views, can clash with each other in football, kicking a ball or even lifting chess pieces. What, then, can sport be for a Russian, after having been denied his own nation, but a feeling of regret and guilt over his discarded and trampled identity, which will be constantly, even if only subconsciously, in his mind? In essence, the contestant castrates himself by such a decision.
Besides, the FIA, which has just recently laid down a rule that Formula 1 drivers are no longer allowed to engage in politics – at least without permission – on what legal basis is it bringing politics into the sport? And if it does, on what legal basis does it prohibit drivers from engaging in politics? Either the whole of Formula 1 is political, as it is, or no one is political, from the top manager who holds it all together to the cleaner of the team with the smallest budget, literally no one. By the way, on the moral basis that the FIA claims, what right does the United States have to be represented in the sport by a number of professionals and powerful presidents? Even American teams are regular participants in the sport, and we have not even mentioned the three venues that host Formula One over three weekends. The following countries have been bombed with impunity by NATO so far. Does the American Holocaust mean anything to anyone else? The massacre of 100 million Indians? What does the National Automobile Association have to say about all this?