Junior racing champion gets sacked after ‘Nazi salute’ post-win celebration; Faces potential life ban

Unique and bizarre celebrations have been a part of motorsport for a number of years now. Not only does it add an extra level of fan appeal, but it allows fans a very small window into a driver’s personality.

When it comes to the world of F1, Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo has the most memorable ‘shoey‘ celebration in recent years. It is so popular that the governing body of the sport has even trademarked the entire act.

Although getting onto the podium is cause for great excitement for drivers, having put in the long hours of practice ahead of a race, sometimes it can get out of hand as well.

Artem Severiukhin is perhaps guilty of delivering a rather forgettable celebration after winning the opening race of the FIA Karting European Championship in Portugal.

While he showed tremendous class in bettering his competition, his ‘Nazi’ gesture after winning the race has sparked a lot of controversy, with the FIA also forced to get involved.

What should have been a childhood dream soon turned into one of his most forgettable days as Severiukhin punched his chest twice before holding out his arm in what can best be described as a ‘Nazi salute’.

What made matters worse is that he seemed to find it funny and even laughed as he looked towards his team.

Social media has been abuzz since then.

FIA intervenes as Ward Racing dishes punishment

Artem Severiukhin. Credit: motorsport.com

The FIA was quick to intervene shortly after the ceremony ended. It announced that an investigation would be carried out immediately to assess the celebration.

“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,” it stated.

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

The youngster, who was naturally shocked to have caused such a furore on social media, was quick to justify his actions.

“I would like to address everyone about yesterday’s situation on the podium,” he told 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.

“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.”

In what will come as tragic news for Severiukhin, he saw his contract shredded to pieces by Ward Racing.

With all the potential in the world, the youngster’s hopes of having a future in motorsport now hang on a thread.

Has FIA been too stringent in its rules or does the 15-year-old deserve the worst possible punishment? Share your views in the comments.

Read more: Vettel gets unfair FIA sanction after F1 marshal gave him permission to drive scooter

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