Ferrari takes advantage of the gap and will have a Russian driver in F1 training  formula 1

Ferrari takes advantage of the gap and will have a Russian driver in F1 training formula 1

The outbreak of war in Ukraine in February prompted F1 to respond with a series of sanctions, such as the banning of Russian flags and symbols and the complete cancellation of the country’s GP. But despite the restrictions, the series will allow Robert Schwartzman to drive in the first free practice of the US GP, on October 23, using the Israeli license for Ferrari.

A former Formula 2 driver, Formula 3 champion in 2019 and member of the team’s Driving Academy, the 22-year-old Russian was born in Tel Aviv, the capital of Israel. After making adjustments to his license, he has already tested the SF21 (team car last season) in Mugello, Italy.

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Robert Schwartzman is Ferrari’s F1 test driver in 2022 – Image: Disclosure

– I always had an Israeli passport, of course, and I decided to apply for a racing license in Israel when the situation between Russia and Ukraine worsened. After all, I want to be a driver, getting to Formula 1 is my only goal and I needed to make sure that I would be available if Ferrari needed to put me in the car.

Among the measures adopted by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are: banning symbols, songs and flags of Russian and Belarusian drivers on the side of drivers and on cars, as well as non-enforcement. vehicle incidents in these areas.

The FIA ​​representatives of Russia and Belarus were also removed from their posts and the body imposed sanctions on the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) and the Belarusian Automobile Federation (FBA), a situation prompted by the decision of Motorsport England – the British Federation – to ban riders of both nationalities at events in the UK.

Daniel Ricciardo leads McLaren in 2021 F1 Russian GP – Photo: Sergei FadeichevTASS via Getty Images

But despite appeals from the Ukrainian Federation, President Mohammed ben Sulayem allowed Russian pilots to continue competing, with one caveat: signing a document called “Pilot’s Pledge”.

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In it, the athlete gives his nationality, extends solidarity to Ukraine and the Ukrainian Automobile Federation and undertakes not to show support for Russia’s actions in the conflict, as well as to make comments or statements that are against the interests of the FIA.

– Robert was born in Israel, has an Israeli passport. So it’s not a Russian license. He was also agreeing with the issue of Russian companies and breaking any contracts he had. He’s still our test driver, he’ll stay that way, and if we have any opportunity in the future to let him drive, we’ll probably let him.”

Robert Schwartzman celebrates his second F2 win of 2021 — Photo: Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images

Russian Alexander Smolyar even considered not racing in Formula 3 but backed out, got an Andorran license and raced under a neutral flag. He placed tenth in the championship. Shwartzman, for his part, officially adopted the Israeli flag.

Former F1 driver Daniil Kvyat refused to sign the Driver’s Pledge and, therefore, could only race in Russia and compete in the United States, in the Nascar Cup Series.

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