All 20 Formula 1 drivers will support a championship appeal to support the work of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine, ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Russia’s war on Ukraine has led to an estimated 3.3million refugees and forced more than 1.85million still in Ukraine from their homes.
Humanitarian and developmental support organisation UNICEF is working to support children impacted by the damage to critical water infrastructure, schools and kindergartens in Ukraine.
Its efforts include trucking safe water to conflict-affected areas, providing hygiene supplies as close as possible to vulnerable communities, and offering psychosocial care to children suffering trauma.
UNICEF also has what it calls “Blue Dot safe spaces” in Moldova, Poland, Romania, and Belarus, which “provide crucial support to families on the move”.
F1 has made an undisclosed “generous donation” to UNICEF and asked teams and fans to support its appeal at uni.cf/f1.
As a unified F1 appeal has been created, a final total will be publicly visible in a few weeks.
The 20 drivers will help raise awareness of UNICEF’s emergency appeal before the start of the Bahrain GP, standing behind a banner.
Several teams have already committed to supporting either UNICEF or charities, with Ferrari as a company donating €1million to the Red Cross.
F1’s decision to support charitable work in Ukraine comes after severing all official ties with Russia in the wake of president Vladimir Putin’s actions.
The Russian Grand Prix’s contract has been cancelled indefinitely while the broadcast deal in the country and its F1TV privileges were terminated.
Nikita Mazepin lost his drive in F1 because of the war. His sponsor and former Haas title backer Uralkali is owned by his father Dmitry, who is thought to be close to Putin. Both Mazepins have been placed on EU and United Kingdom sanctions list.