Formula 1’s Russian Dilemma: What’s Next?

The Russian Grand Prix is not going to happen this weekend, however the Russian driver may very well be again on the Formula 1 grid quickly. If you thought “Season of the Fool” could not get any funnier, you would be unsuitable. As if again from the useless, Daniil Kvyat made a detour to the Monza circuit and chatted with Otmar Schaffnauer on the Alpine bike, fueling rumors of a attainable return to the primary class. The drawback is his Russian citizenship.

Russian sanctions hampered Kvyats’ roadmap

According to the FIA, Russian and Belarusian drivers are allowed to compete in worldwide competitions, however solely beneath sure situations. At the start of March, Daniil Kvyat’s job was precisely that. Kvyat’s boss and G-Drive crew proprietor Roman Rusinov refused to signal the contract required by the FIA. “For the sake of my followers, colleagues and the consideration of my nation, I might reasonably not drive than signal this doc,” Rusinov stated.

For instance, beginning beneath the Russian flag, singing alongside to the nationwide anthem and any exercise exhibiting help for Russia was prohibited. Kvyat did not remark on the time, however now he does: “Never say by no means,” he informed Autosport colleagues. The Russian believes that it’s inconceivable to return to Formula 1. “Right now will not be the suitable time, however perhaps at some point.”

Revival in America

Daniil Kvyat is at the moment taking part in three races within the American NASCAR sequence. “I’m welcome right here!” He plans to proceed there subsequent yr. “I’m completely happy right here. I’ve at all times needed to strive NASCAR, so my little dream is coming true.” Kvyat at the moment drives with the Hezeberg crew (beneath the Russian flag) within the NASCAR Cup Series.

Daniil Kvyat drives the identical Formula 1 beginning quantity within the NASCAR Cup Series, Photo: LAT Images

Two conferences, two factors at Indianapolis and Watkins Glen. It is feasible to develop, however: “It will take a while to essentially attain the highest,” Daniil Kvyat perseveres. “If you do it proper, you’ll be able to have an extended profession in NASCAR. I wish to see how far it goes for me!” On October 8, Kvyat performed his third and ultimate recreation of the season at Charlotte Roval.

Kvyat doesn’t quit his dream of Formula 1 in any respect

“Of course, Formula 1 will at all times have a particular place in my coronary heart,” says Daniil Kvyat about his previous love. “Who is aware of. Maybe, or let’s consider: Hopefully we’ll speak about it once more in some unspecified time in the future. I’m nonetheless younger.” Even 13 years youthful than Fernando Alonso, who on the age of 41 appears like a rookie. In 2021, Kvyat was nonetheless working as a reserve driver within the Alps. However, Enstone’s crew denied rumors that Kvyat might substitute Alonso.

However, the previous Red Bull driver doesn’t wish to rule out the potential of a return to the premier class. “There are examples of drivers coming again after a brief break and nonetheless performing properly,” hopes Daniil Kvyat. If he might return, his citizenship shouldn’t be an issue: “I’m open to it. I can begin anyplace within the US, it must be attainable in Europe as properly.”

Secret team meeting between Mekies, Kvyat and manager Todt, Photo: LAT Images
Secret crew assembly between Mekies, Kvyat and supervisor Todt, Photo: LAT Images

Instead of the Russian flag, albeit beneath a impartial one. Daniil Kvyat is not going to refuse to compete beneath the Italian flag. The 28-year-old has lived in Italy for nearly a decade, whereas driving karts and driving AlfaTauri. “Of course, I’ll stay Russian, however when I’m right here I communicate just like the locals, as if I grew up in Italy.” Max Verstappen’s predecessor even labored for 2 Italian racing groups, with Ferrari (as a driver in 2018) and Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri (2014-2020).

Kvyat adjustments his swimsuit right into a racing swimsuit at any time

“Of course, for some time every part was very tense, however now it is somewhat higher,” says Daniil Kvyat, assessing the present scenario of himself and his Russian colleagues. “Unfortunately, this has set again our negotiations fairly a bit.” The query stays as to what number of Russian drivers the Formula 1 groups need in the intervening time. Anyway, he is open to solutions. “People know my quantity and know the place to seek out me,” Kvyat advertises himself. And the jokes: “I’m carrying a swimsuit proper now. But I can at all times change it to a racing swimsuit.”

An vital accomplice is Daniil Kvyat’s supervisor Nicolas Todt. Apart from Frenchman Kvyat, Charles Leclerc can be accountable. “Having him by my facet undoubtedly helps,” the 28-year-old showered Todt with roses. “But I even have private connections.” But a very powerful factor is time. For others, it is as a result of: “I’m at all times able to get again into the Formula 1 cockpit. It’s the best for me!” The transition to NASCAR was rather more troublesome at first.

Robert Schwartzman: From Russian to Israeli

Another (half) Russian rides a Ferrari: Robert Schwartzman. The Formula 2 winner holds Israeli and Russian citizenship and is at the moment a take a look at driver for the Scuderia. Schwartzman will bounce into the cockpit of the F1-75 in Austin and (presumably) Abu Dhabi. After Russia invaded Ukraine, the 23-year-old switched from Russian to the Israeli flag.

“Robert was born in Israel,” says Mattia Binotto. “He has an Israeli passport, and as for the license, there’s completely no Russian in it. All agreements with Russian firms have been terminated.” Before that, Shvartsman was sponsored by the Russian motorsport group SMP Racing.

Mazepin: I’ll by no means quit Russia for Formula 1!

All this could by no means have been attainable for Nikita Mazepin. After the take a look at drives in Bahrain, Haas misplaced the 23-year-old Russian, his father Dmitry and his sponsor Urukali because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Mazepin household has since sued Haas, and their son Nikita has created a basis to help Russian athletes. “If you have a look at the entire scenario, that is the destruction of a tradition directed towards the athletes of my nation,” he stated, condemning the sanctions.

Nikita Mazepin and his father are nonetheless on the EU’s prolonged sanctions record. Nevertheless, he’s optimistic: “I’m positive {that a} return to Formula 1 is feasible sooner or later.” But: strolling beneath one other flag like Robert Schwartzman is inconceivable for Mazepin.

“Whether you wish to go away your nation for sports activities is as much as you,” Nikita Mazepin informed Ria Novosti in an interview. – But I will not try this! Although he doesn’t blame Schwartzman for this, he can’t perceive it. “We are athletes and everybody has to make their very own decisions,” Mazepin stated. “You must respect that.”

The former Haas driver can be campaigning to return to his race: “I bear in mind the good feeling once I was on the rostrum in Russia. It’s a disgrace that the drivers and spectators are going with out him now,” says the Russian. In 2020, Mazepin completed second to Guanyu Zhou within the Formula 2 dash race in Sochi.

If the first-class cabin doesn’t work out for Nikita Mazepin, as anticipated, he can be in a unique place: “I believe at some point I can be there as a businessman. But not in a rush.” Three pilots, three fates, it couldn’t be in any other case. Continuation.

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