Will 15-Year-Old Russian Karting Driver Face Life-Time Ban Following ‘Unacceptable’ Gesture On the Podium?

Published 04/12/2022, 3:04 AM EDT

Over the years, the motorsport world has come across several bizarre podium celebrations with Daniel Ricciardo carrying the mantle for Formula One. The Aussie’s unique yet harmless Shoey celebration has garnered a whole range of fan-following from across the world. What’s more, even F1 recently trademarked the term ‘Shoey’, considering its ever-growing popularity.

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But, what happens when a podium celebration gets out of hand? Well, here’s a 15-year-old Russian karting driver who pulled himself into a whirlpool of controversy following a very ‘unacceptable’ gesture during a podium ceremony.

Russian karter drags himself into big trouble

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15-year-old Russian karting driver, Artem Severiukhin, had just won the final round of the opening race of the FIA Karting European Championship in Portugal and was embracing his triumphant victory on the podium. In all cases, it was nothing less than an impeccable feat for Severiukhin.

However, in a matter of seconds, the youngster managed to turn what could have been one of the best days of his life into the worst nightmare.

During the ceremony, Severiukhin demonstrated what looked like a ‘Nazi Salute’, as he fisted his chest twice before pointing his arm forward in the air with an open hand.

He then went on to have a laugh about it with his team who were then watching on from the parc ferme. Of course, this led to a massive uproar amongst the fans as the social media ended up being swarmed by his ‘podium celebration’ video.

FIA launches investigation into the karting incident

The FIA knew the degree of this incident and hence, decided to intervene, barely hours after the ceremony. Following a review of the viral video, the governing body, in a statement, revealed that they would be launching an immediate investigation into the matter.

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The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile confirms that 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 the Kartodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal.”

The FIA will communicate shortly on the further steps that will be taken in this case.

Russian karting driver defends his actions

Although the entire motorsport community is raging over this incident, Severiukhin came up with a statement reckoning his innocence. The youngster, currently racing under the Italian flag, insisted that he was just acknowledging his team’s cheers from the crowd.

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I would like to address everyone about yesterday’s situation on the podium,” he said according to Motorsport. “I won the round of the European Championship and was very happy. I’m from Russia. I thanked the team and my relatives from Russia.”

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Someone saw a bad gesture in my actions, but it’s not. I just thanked them. I am Russian, I am from Russia and I stand by my country.

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However, his team, Ward Racing has terminated his contract. The young Russian’s racing future seems to be spiraling downwards quite dramatically.

So, how is the FIA going to play this out? Will they terminate his racing career once and for all or will the youngster receive a lifeline?

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Rohit Kumar

1884 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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