Ralf Schumacher has fired back at Vitaly Petrov who claimed Max Verstappen‘s 2022 Formula 1 world championship is invalid.
Petrov is of the opinion that all sporting titles won while Russian athletes have been banned should not count and has called for all sanctions imposed following the invasion of Ukraine to be lifted.
Speaking to Russian media, the 38-year-old, who raced in F1 for three years from 2010 to 2012, said: “Without Russia, I don’t consider a single champion or Olympic title to be valid. We have to stop being afraid of our people and bring Russia back into world sport.
“For me, it’s not acceptable. I don’t understand at all this absurdity of imposing certain opinions on people. We can use the current situation as an impetus for the development of motorsport, training young people to guide them further into the future.”
As it stands, Robert Shwartzman is the only driver with Russian ties contracted to an F1 team following Nikita Mazepin‘s dismissal from Haas in the lead-up to the 2022 season.
Petrov also insisted that Russian drivers will “all be ready” when their time in the F1 wilderness comes to an end.
“I understand it’s difficult, but no one should give up” Petrov said. “This isolation will not last forever.
“I myself have wanted to race in Formula 1 all my life, so I understand young drivers very well. But they have to be patient, practice and not stop believing, so when the opportunity to come back comes, we’ll all be ready.”
Schumacher, a fellow ex-F1 racer, didn’t take too kindly to Petrov‘s claims and took to social media to fire back at the Russian.
“Better tell your President that! He can change it,” Schumacher wrote.