OCTOBER 17, 2022
Russian driver asks FIA for Ukraine conflict reprieve
Dakar rally winner Sergey Karyakin has called on F1's governing body to scrap the hurdles preventing Russian drivers from participating in FIA-sanctioned events.
The Russian, who won the fabled Dakar event in the quad category in 2017, told Tass news agency that he has written personally to new FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem.
In the letter, he asked the FIA chief to scrap the requirement demanding that Russian drivers condemn the actions of Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine conflict.
Last month, the successful Russian Dakar team Kamaz Master said it had refused to sign the FIA's document.
"On the 13th, I wrote a letter directly to the FIA president," said Karyakin.
"I asked him to cancel the requirement for Russian drivers to sign the special paper. I stress that this is contrary to the FIA code of ethics.
"We still know how to read legal documents," he insisted.
"I wrote that since he (ben Sulayem) is a former athlete, he knows what it is to give half his life to sports and what it is like for an athlete to be excommunicated from competition for political reasons.
"Let's see what his answer will be."
If the answer is not to Karyakin's liking, he said he will sit out the 2023 Dakar rally - which is scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia from December.
"I have certain principles in life and going against my homeland is completely wrong," he insisted.