Smolyar to not race in F3

Alexander Smolyar has joined a number of Russian drivers who have opted not to continue International racing in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Smolyar finished F3 in sixth last year and was due to return for a third season with MP Motorsport. However the FIA announced a few weeks ago that any Russian competitors in its series would have to participate as neutrals.

The sport’s governing body also required Russian drivers to sign declarations that they “acknowledge the strong commitment made by the FIA to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine” and undertake to “not express any support (direct or indirect) for the Russian and/or Belarusian activities in respect of Ukraine”.

Smolyar is backed by Russian junior driver programme SMP Racing, he took to social media to confirm he has decided to pull out of the championship.

“I will not compete in FIA F3 and any international racing series this year. I stand with the decision of SMP Racing to stop its European program as a result of an unprecedented requirements that FIA put on any Russian driver as a condition for access to international competitions. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support in these difficult times.”

He is the latest in a series of Russian drivers who have either lost their seats or opted not to compete this year. F1 driver Nikita Mazepin was dropped by his team after they severed ties to his father’s company Uralkali. In the World Endurance Championship, Russian team G-Drive has withdrawn, leaving ex-F1 racer Daniil Kvyat and Roman Rusinov without drives.

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