Russian karter accused of ‘Nazi salute’ summoned to FIA hearing tomorrow

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The FIA has summoned Artem Severiukhin to a hearing tomorrow over his actions on the podium during the European Karting Championship in Portimao.

Severiukhin won the event on April 10th before performing what appeared to be a Nazi salute during the podium ceremony.

The following day the FIA announced it intended to investigate the incident. Today the governing body of motorsport confirmed it will hold a hearing tomorrow. Severiukhin has been summoned along with his former team, Ward Racing, who severed their ties with the driver immediately after the race.

In a tearful apology posted on social media, Severiukhin said that the incident had been a misunderstanding. “I want to apologise to everyone for what happened yesterday at the European Karting Championships,” he said.

“Standing on the podium I made a gesture that has been perceived as a Nazi salute. This is not true. I have never supported and consider it one of the worst crimes in humanity.

“I race under an Italian licence and race under an Italian flag and the guys in front of the podium showed me it in Italy and it is not a custom. I hit myself in the chest three times in the heart area showing gratitude. I just wanted to make the gesture but how everything has happened I cannot explain.

“I know that I’m a fool and ready to be punished, but please, believe there was no intention in my actions and no support for Nazism or facism. For all of those that watched in the broadcast, excuse me.”

Ward Racing said it “condemns the personal actions of pilot Artem Severiukhin during the award ceremony on April 10th, 2022 in the strongest possible terms, as it considers them a manifestation of unsportsmanlike behaviour, an unacceptable violation of the ethical and moral sports codex.”

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 45 comments on “Russian karter accused of ‘Nazi salute’ summoned to FIA hearing tomorrow”

    1. I’ve watched the video a few times. I can understand why people think he made a Nazi gesture. IMHO, I think the kid happened to string together movements that others could view as Nazi gestures but were more than likely innocent.

      If he was guilty, he has likely paid the price.
      If he is innocent, he paid a steep price.

      1. I can understand why people think he made a Nazi gesture

        Is it because he did? Because that video shows someone giving a nazi-salute, so it makes sense to think that.

      2. @blueruck Much the same opinion. On evidence and given his statement, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt.

      3. Showing gratitude is a plausible explanation for the three chest bumps but doesn’t come close to explaining the right arm being raised at a 45 degree with palm down. This is a classic Nazi gesture.

        I’m not sure if his reaction is crocodile tears or genuine remorse for his actions. He may be the only one who can really know for sure. But I think if he is truly remorseful, visiting a Holocaust memorial and learning in-depth about the atrocities the Nazis committed is probably a good start to healing from this event.

        1. It’s crocodile tears obviously. I don’t know if his Daddy is an oligarch, but if he is he should have a meeting with the monster dictator that runs Russia and tell him to quit slaughtering people in Ukraine.

      4. I’m not familiar with nazi gestures. I too wonder if there was any intention in the guy. Last time I said this my comment got censored so beware @blueruck
        Anyway, is the hearing taking place in Nuremberg?

        1. @peartree, You may not be, but he certainly was. He did the gesture, looked at his friends (I’m guessing, because his eyes were fixated on one section of the crowd) and then laughed about it happily, probably because his friends cheered him on when he did it.
          He did it just about long enough to argue that he didn’t do it. He knew exactly what he did because he thought it was funny, and he should pay the price for it.

    2. If it was a Nazi salute it was certainly a very half-hearted one given that the arm was not straight and he held the position for almost no time. It does raise interesting legal and philosophical questions. In a court of law the standard of guilt is beyond reasonable doubt. So what is, and what should be, the standard for guilt held by an international sporting body?

      1. If it wasn’t straight enough or long enough for it to count in your mind then I suggest you educate yourself by watching footage of Hitler doing his version.

        1. Well, just had a look at youtube and across three different videos could not find Hitler doing one for less than a full second (bare in mind the footage is typically sped up) and either it was fully straight or was the highly bent at the elbow one whereby the elbow goes forward and the fore arm goes to the head.

          If the driver wanted to clearly display one he could have held it in place for a couple of seconds with the stereotypical straight arm. Perhaps he tried to do it properly but started laughing, or perhaps he purposefully did a very weak one with the intent to disguise it or perhaps he did not intend to do one at all.

          1. So now you know there are variations. This is not an engineering exercise. Nobody in 1930s Germany was holding a stop watch and timing the salutes. But keep tying yourself in knots over it.

            1. “So now you know there are variations.”. Just for context, you are talking to someone who has read around 20 plus books on fascism. Despite being very leftwing and strong social justice supporter I have a strong interest in the topic. I could speak at length about the origins of fascist ideology (did you know the Whites in the Russian civil war were the first government to be fascist, did you know the influence of Italian Futurism (a movement in art) was a fore runner for fascism?), or the various ways fascism manifested (such as the differences between Falangism, Italian Fascism, and Nazism, or that some early Nazis thought that Nazism was a left wing movement). I could probably spend the next hour typing stuff that you will not know anything about unless you have done serious historical reading in the subject. I suggest you stop assuming about what I know.

              In relation to your point, yes, throughout history people have given Nazi salutes in an immense number of ways. The point I was making is it deviated from a stereotypical Nazi salute, which then raises the question of what level of proof the FIA should consider required before taking action.

      2. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

        1. @g-funk maybe it is an ugly duckling.

        2. … and burn the witches without a fair trail

          Nothing like the interwebs for reinforcing the devolution of humanity.

          This driver is a child. That needs to be taken into account. Worse, he’s a child born into the internet era so he knows no better than the purile state of humanity now fully exposed for all it is, every second, of every day, filling copious data centres full of less intelligence than a single wing of a suburban Library.

          That is until the bits inevitably succumb to rot when the invariably, thankfully, temporary nature of digital publishing kicks in.

          May these comments, mine included, eventually meet that same bitrot fate … only living on in that museum that is the web archive (if necessary).

          1. Who said anything about burning witches without a fair trial? The lengths some people need to resort to to devalue what they have empirically observed is astonishing sometimes. You have gone from my comment implying that the action he performed on video bears a striking resemblance to a well-known Nazi salute to an implication that this sort of comment will lead to summary execution without due process.

            He’ll get his day in front of the FIA to try to explain his motivation for making the salute. We’ll see what the punishment will be. In addition to having already lost his current seat, I suspect it will be some sort of suspension and community service specifically around learning about Nazism and its repercussions. I think that is a fair result and the precedent exists with Kyle Larson. But none of that means a fair trial didn’t or won’t happen and none of it means punishment that doesn’t fit the crime.

            I am sick of the slippery slope arguments often presented when holding someone accountable for their actions. This is not about “canceling” someone; it is about holding them accountable for their actions. Actions that, whether committed with malice intended or not, have consequences.

            1. @g-funk Outstanding comment, but I fear that those who need to hear it cannot do so, over the din of their own echo chambers.

            2. The meaning of the word action seem to be lost among the self-righteous.

              BTW it looks closer to a roman salute than a nazi one but whatever…

            3. @rottka The classic line of fascists attempting to rebrand this gesture as a “Roman salute”. As noted by Winkler in 2009 who studied the subject extensively,

              Not a single Roman work of art—sculpture, coinage, or painting—displays a salute of the kind that is found in Fascism, Nazism, and related ideologies. It is also unknown to Roman literature and is never mentioned by ancient historians of either republican or imperial Rome. The gesture of the raised right arm or hand in Roman and other ancient cultures that is attested in surviving art and literature had a significantly different function and is never identical with the modern straight-arm salute.

            4. @rottka my definition of action is “a thing done.” Which I think you will find is the actual definition of action.

    3. I found watching the video chilling and I find the comments on this post giving him the benefit of the doubt depressing. What a world we live in where people can watch a video clearly showing this and try to dismiss it.

      1. Yeah, what a world we live in where condemnation is instantaneous, potentially from thousands+ of people, without any right to explain your actions or even be heard. It used to be called lynching. Now it’s called a twitter pile-on.

        1. johnandtonic
          20th April 2022, 19:29

          Agreed. Hung, drawn and quartered before any trial. All very different from the values I was taught growing up by parents, church and school.

          1. Don’t need an investigation for something that is obvious. Do you not believe your own eyes?

            1. The investigation, I imagine, would be around the intent.

              Which has bearing, even in murder cases.

          2. I haven’t heard anyone wanting to do physical harm to the fellow, just people suggesting that he not be allowed to get up on podiums in front of international audiences anymore. That sounds reasonable to me.

      2. Right! Life in prison, is the least he deserves. He has caused too many comments to die.

    4. Having looked at the video, looks pretty fash to me!

    5. I watched the video and I am in the camp of “Over excited young man makes foolish gesture.”
      He appears to be reacting to someone in the crowd.
      It would help if I could see video of that other person and what they were doing.

      As for the people screaming for him to be hung, drawn and quartered without hesitation … I would suggest that they are as big a problem as all the other mindless fanatics in the world.

      1. @nullapax I think more could be gained from educating the young fellow.

        Any precedent of immediate cancellation is only fair if everyone has been educated equally on such topics.

        When I was 15 I usually used history class mainly to draw cars in the back of my workbook, or try and catch a few extra winks.

        To me this is just innocent ignorance.

      2. Darylcoetzer
        26th April 2022, 5:01

        I agree with you 100%
        A young man caught up in the moment – what does a 15 year old know about Nazism?

    6. In Africa we don’t put so much emphasized on body signs language I don’t know whether If I was alone watching the clip I could tell anything, but I can tell you I better stay like this to myself from analizing everything thing, because you just die with overeading every Acts

    7. It WAS a Nazi salute and he was bent over double at how funny it was that he was so controversial. I’m sorry but there no excuse, no reason he can give besides immaturity. Even then if he is that immature then he shouldn’t be racing for sponsors.

      1. +1! Hopefully he and his peers learn something about how their public actions have public consequences.

    8. Electroball76
      21st April 2022, 0:11

      He’ll be stalling for time, hoping they show a bit of leniency. Any more bad marks put in his name and they’ll have to say “go on son, off you trotsky”.

    9. some racing fan
      21st April 2022, 2:51

      Well, I guess that salute was the final solution to his career (sorry, I just had to).

    10. What a weird decision to deploy this Russian propaganda bot to a racing blog. Did it take a wrong turn somewhere?

    11. Nazi regime in Ukraine?

      You must be Russian. Time to read more than state propaganda.

    12. The only Nazi regime sits in Russia as they attacked a country to destroy like a certain Adolf H. did ….

      Maybe is that why that teenager did it that he learned it in school ………..

    13. Whom ever is in charge please remove this comment. The last thing we need on this site is comments like this.

    14. I watched the video and that wasn’t a Nazi salute by any means. Why would a 15 year old give a Nazi salute to the crowd in Portugal? Any ideas?
      So his team fired him and he looses his racing license as well. And this was even before FIA gets to conclude their investigations. How is this even fair or just?

      1. It’s not, but they have to be seen “doing something” or they’re next.

      2. It’s not, but if they don’t “do something” they’re next.

      3. Darylcoetzer
        26th April 2022, 5:04

        I agree with you, it is a witch hunt against all Russians. It is nothing more than a kid caught in the moment of winning.

    15. CarlD, you only need to read the first line of your own comment to yourself a few times until it sinks in. Truly, you do not get it.

    Comments are closed.