The Roman salute in karting

Columns: Editorials
While conciliatory messages have been launched from the top of Motorsport (Black Lives Matter with raised fist, or Vettel's shirts on the podium in Hungary last year) the pyramid’s base risks becoming unedifying.

The fact is already well known by now: Artem Severiukhin, shortly after winning his first international FIA Karting race at the OK European Championship held in Portugal, became the protagonist, as we have all reluctantly seen too many times, of an episode that could compromise his career. It was just a fleeting moment, but after beating his chest twice with his fist, he closed the goliardic action with the Roman salute, while laughing. For sure the boy certainly did not imagine causing such a fuss, because he was probably unaware of the seriousness of the gesture, both in itself and in the sporting-professional context, but although 15 years old, they are professionals and should have known better.
From here on in, we can advance the most disparate motivations that certainly have nothing to do with an apologia to fascism, but whatever the reasons, they were neither happy – nor bright - especially as the winner of the first test of the European FIA Karting Championship represented the flag and the national anthem of Italy at that moment.

The cherry on top of this stunt was put by the social networks where, as usual, videos like these go around the globe in a few hours, a bit like what happened at the KZ World Championship in Lonato in 2019 when Corberi threw a bumper from the side of the track at an opponent who was still competing at the time. This proves that today certain behaviors cannot be obfuscated or 'misinterpreted' because once they end up on the social networks circuit the damage is done. While waiting to know the position of the FIA - which one can presume will not be light - and also that of the Italian ASN regarding this uncongenial stunt of Severiukhin, together with those who directed him to express such behavior - equally or rather, more responsible, - we would like to talk about the regulation that allows a russian driver working for a swedish team to race with an Italian license, regardless of the situation of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine that, as we all know, has triggered several restrictive measures, including limiting the participation of Russian athletes from competitions in sports recognized by the IOC and others.

For the sport of karting, for some time now, the "solution" has been found to allow foreign drivers (not only russians) to race with an Italian license and it is clear that when it was first established, nobody contemplated or forecast a scenario of war. This, however, is a theme to return to because from that video a lot of ideas that help to understand today's karting arise.

Created by: fmarangon - 11/04/22

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