Formula One: Ferrari Stripping Russian Sponsor from Cars

by Suzanne Halliburton
formula-one-ferrari-stripping-russian-sponsor-cars
GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images

Ferrari, one of the oldest Formula One teams, is dropping a Russian company as one of its sponsors.

So, going forward, Ferrari cars will not be sporting the logo of Kaspersky Lab, a security software company based in Moscow. The team had a long relationship with Kaspersky. It started in 2010 and the agreement was extended twice since then. Its most recent agreement was from December, with Ferrari billing Kaspersky as a “world leader in the field of cyber security and data protection.”

In addition, Ferrari, the auto company, is assessing whether to continue to work with the company. It uses the company’s anti-virus software.

A spokesman for Ferrari said the team removed the logo from its cars and drivers’ helmets. Ferrari also will remove the name from the team’s website. The spokesman said both Ferrari and Kaspersky mutually made the decision to part ways.

Ferrari has been an auto racing team since 1929. They raced Alfa Romeo’s until 1949, then started with Ferraris. And the team has produced some of the sport’s most legendary drivers, including Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter and Michael Schumacher.

Here’s last year’s car:

ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images

Like Ferrari, Italy May Cut Ties with Russian Company

The Italian government also may be adding restrictions on the use of Kaspersky’s products. Reuters reported that the government, which uses the software, is worried about potential hacking by Russian agents. Germany also has issued warnings about whether hackers had an open door into Kaspersky products. But it hasn’t issued any sanctions.

The Formula One season is kicking off in Bahrain this weekend. Max Verstappen sported the fastest time in Friday’s second practice. The Bahrain GP is Sunday.

Earlier this month, another Formula One team cut big ties to Russia. The Haas F1 team replaced driver Nikita Mazepin, who is from Russia, with Kevin Magnusson, who hasn’t competed at the highest levels since 2020. In addition, Haas cut ties with Mazepin’s father, who financed his son’s racing career. Mazepin’s dad owns Uralkali, a chemical company. The company was Haas’ title sponsor.

Earlier, the EU determined that the elder Mazepin belonged to Vladimir Putin’s “closest circle.” So the EU placed father and son on a black list.

Meanwhile, the younger Mazepin told reporters he is forming the “We Compete as One” foundation. It’s for athletes like himself who are prevented from competing because of politics. Mazepin said the money Ukrali used to sponsor the F1 team will aid the displaced drivers.

Formula One also canceled the Russian Grand Prix, which was scheduled for September. Lewis Hamilton won the race last year. In a statement to the media, F1 officials said that “it was impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.”

Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, Feb. 24.

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