W-Series Driver, Ira Sidorkova, denied visa to drive in Austin

... despite having a National Interests Exemption status as a professional athlete

W-Series driver, Ira Sidorkova, tweeted this yesterday:

Unlike fellow compatriots, Daniil Kvyat and Nikita Mazepin, who have received visas to allow them into the States for this weekend's F1 Grand Prix in Austin, Ira was not so lucky.

According to a further, more detailed post on her Instagram accounts, Sidorkova was initially refused a visa following an interview with the US Embassy. Further intervention from both W-Series, Formula 1 and Austin's Congressman, Michael McCaul also failed to produce her visa.

So, unfortunately, Ira's 2021 season is over, and she will see her seventh place in the championship slip away. She will be back though to compete in 2022.

Her seat this weekend will be taken by Australian reserve driver, Caitlin Wood.

With many other Russians securing visas, was Ira's misfortune down to filling the form out incorrectly, making a spelling mistake, or just getting unlucky with an officious jobsworth?

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Comments (11)

  • It's ridiculous that Kvyat and the Haas driver can get in but she can't. Would love to know why the decided to deny her entry.

    Real shame because she's been one of the best drivers this season, especially as a rookie coming in.

      1 month ago
    • I know, it does seem ridiculous ... maybe it is just a case of a mistake on the form. It's easily done, and you'd be amazed at what gets rejected because of it.

      My dad was an accountant and had to do import/export forms way back when in the 70s and...

      Read more
        1 month ago
    • You'd think W Series and F1 would have been able to sort it out though, it's not like they're unknown bodies.

      That is next level scrutiny for your Dad though!

        1 month ago
  • Apparently (at least) part of the reason the visa was rejected was because they queried why she had spent so much time in the UK?? (special relationship my arse!) - given that W Series is UK based, this seems a particularly stupid reason to block someone, even more so when that Haas 'driver' gets in...

      1 month ago
    • I read that, but I thought it had been a previous application ... and yes, very silly reason, even more so when F1 and WSeries couldn't help either

        1 month ago
  • This is insane! How can they do this?! I’m actually stunned F1 wasn’t able to put some pressure there.. kinda sad to see her end the season this way.. hopefully she comes back stronger next season!

      1 month ago
  • This is a ridiculous and pathetic decision. It just makes the USA look petty

      1 month ago
  • Biden allows illegal immigrants in all the time at the Mexico boarder but his administration can’t allow a Legal VISA person in? Especially for such an international race series tied to F1?

      1 month ago