Artem Severiukhin, 15, appeared to perform a nazi salute and laugh when celebrating his victory in round one of the FIA Karting European Championship at Portimao; Russian driver, who is competing with Italian license, set to have contract terminated by his team
Last Updated: 11/04/22 3:19pm
The FIA is investigating the “unacceptable conduct” of a Russian go-kart driver following his actions on the podium after winning a race on Sunday.
Artem Severiukhin, 15, appeared to perform a nazi salute and laugh when celebrating his victory in round one of the FIA Karting European Championship at Portimao.
The FIA, motorsport’s governing body, said it was looking into the incident, footage of which has been widely circulated and condemned on social media.
“The FIA confirms it has launched an immediate investigation into the unacceptable conduct of Mr Artem Severiukhin that occurred during the podium ceremony for the OK category at Round 1 of the 2022 FIA Karting European Championship at Kartodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal,” read a statement on Monday.
“The FIA will communicate shortly on the further steps that will be taken in this case.”
Severiukhin, who pounded his chest before raising his right arm, was competing in the championship with an Italian license due to the FIA’s ban on Russian competitors following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The Italian national anthem was playing as he made the gesture.
Ward Racing, his privately owned Swedish team, have already said they plan to terminate his contract.
“Ward Racing is deeply in shame of the pilot’s behaviour which it condemns in the strongest possible terms,” they said. “Action will promptly be taken accordingly.
“The actions of Artem Severyukhin during the award ceremony on April 10, 2022 were exclusively individual and do not represent the views and values of Ward Racing in any manner. On the contrary, Ward Racing stands with the international community condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expresses its solidarity with the people suffering because of this unprovoked and horrific attack.
“Since the start of the ongoing war, our firm stance has been demonstrated with ‘No War’ helmets and stickers. In addition, we currently have three Ukrainian families traveling with us because they have no home to return to.
“Ward Racing accordingly condemns the personal actions of pilot Artem Severyukhin during the award ceremony on April 10, 2022 in the strongest possible terms, as it considers them a manifestation of unsportsmanlike behaviour, an unacceptable violation of the ethical and moral sports codex.
“With this statement, Ward Racing expresses its opinion, as well as the opinion of all athletes and staff of the Ward Racing team. On the basis of these considerations, Ward Racing sees no possibility for continued cooperation with Artem Severyukhin and will proceed with terminating his racing contract.
“Finally, Ward Racing would like to apologize to those who were hurt or distressed by the occurrence.
“It has long been and will remain a priority for Ward Racing to work for a more diverse, inclusive, and respectful racing climate.”
More to follow…