Highlights

  • Russian teenager's Nazi salute after race win
  • Dismissed by his team, being investigated by International Automobile Federation (FIA)
  • The karter later apologised for his action, said doesn't believe in Nazism

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What The 'Heil'? 15-year-old Russian's Nazi salute after winning race

Artyom Severyukhin, a Russian karter has been dismissed, and being investigated by International Automobile Federation (FIA) after giving a Nazi salute at a racing event 

A 15-year-old Russian karter came under fire for making an alleged Nazi salute after winning a race at the European Junior Karting Championship. Artyom Severyukhin, was sacked by his team and is currently being investigated by the International Automobile Federation for the gesture.

Severyukhin had to compete under an Italian license after Russians were banned from participating by the FIA. In a video shared online, Severyukhin is seen standing on a podium, he taps his closed fist twice on his chest and then stretches his hand out, palm open. The teen then proceeds to burst out laughing on the podium itself. It happened following Severyukhin's win in the first round of the European Championship on Sunday.

The supposed Nazi salute drew a lot of flak on social media which led to an investigation being launched by the FIA into the incident. Severyukhin's Ward Racing team's statement also read that it had fired him after the incident.

'Ward Racing is deeply in shame of the pilot's action,' the Swedish team wrote on Instagram, adding that it had made clear its opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine by putting 'No War' stickers on driver helmets and has three Ukrainian refugee families travelling with the team.

'On the basis of these considerations Ward Racing sees no possibility of continued cooperation with Artem Severiukhin and will proceed with terminating his racing contract,' the statement further read.

In a video message released online, Severyukhin apologised and denied the salute being a Nazi gesture. 'Many perceived it to be a Nazi salute, it's not true, I have never supported Nazism and consider it one of the worst crimes against humanity,' he said.

'I know I'm a fool and I'm ready to be punished, but please believe that there was no intention in my actions,' the Karter added.

The Russian Automobile Federation stated that they were looking into the matter, as per reports. The federation went onto say, 'We also report that we consider unacceptable any, even an accidental, manifestation of fascism and Nazism in Russian motorsport and among Russian athletes.'

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