Motor Sports

Haas F1 Team drops Russian driver Nikita Mazepin

Russian driver Nikita Mazepin's contract terminated by Haas F1. Photo: The Guardian
  • Formula One Haas has terminated Mezapen’s contract and his family sponsor Uralkali following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
  • Mazepin shares his disappointment over contract termination by Formula One team Haas
  • Nikita Mazepin feels completely ignored by Haas as the team terminated his contract amid of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
  • Who is likely to replace Nikita Mazepin as the Haas driver?

Haas F1 has dropped Nikita Mazepin and his family sponsor Uralkali.

The decision was made in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Haas responded to by removing Uralkali’s Russian flag-themed branding off their automobile in a prior test.

Nikita Mazepin dropped by Haas F1. Photo: Planet1

As the invasion enters its second week, the team has come to the conclusion that any connection with Uralkali is unsustainable.

”Haas F1 Team has elected to terminate, with immediate effect, the title partnership of Uralkali, and the driver contract of Nikita Mazepin,”  read the team statement.

“As with the rest of the Formula 1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict.”

Following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the FIA gave Mazepin permission to race but only in their neutral capacity and under the FIA flag.

subject to specific commitment and adherence to the FIA’s principles of peace and political neutrality.

But, only two weeks before the start of the 2022 season, Haas decided to cut ties with the Russian.

Mazepin had secured sponsorship from Uralkali, a Russian fertilizer company co-owned by his father Dimitry Mazepin through Uralchem.

According to ESPN, Nikita’s father is a major corporate figure in Russia and was one of the numerous business leaders who met with President Vladimir Putin to discuss western sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Dmitry Mazepin, Russian Oligarch businessman and father to Nikita Mazapin. Photo: Tass

On the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, Haas F1 Team had removed the Russian flag branding from their car following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Haas F1 has now taken the drastic step of eliminating Mazepin and Uralkali from the team entirely.

Nikita Mazepin feels Haas completely ignored him as the team terminated his contract

Following Haas’ announcement, Mazepin issued a public statement stating that he was willing to accept the FIA’s demands. However, it has been totally ignored.

He was disappointed with the fact that his contract had been terminated.

“Dear fans and followers, I am very disappointed to hear that my F1 contract has been terminated,” the Russian wrote on his social media accounts.

“While I understand the difficulties,

“ The ruling from the FIA plus my ongoing willingness to accept the conditions proposed in order to continue were completely ignored, and no process was followed in this unilateral step.

“To those who have tried to understand, my eternal thanks.

“I have treasured my time in F1 and genuinely hope we can all be together again in better times.

“I will have more to say in the coming days,” Nikita said.

Previously, Formula One had terminated its agreement with the Russian Grand Prix, and Motorsport UK confirmed that Russian-licensed drivers will be barred from competing in the United Kingdom and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Who is likely to replace Mezapin?

Early next week, Haas will make an announcement about their new driver.

Team principal Guenther Steiner had previously stated that current team reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi grandson of double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, will be the driver for the team’s next test in Bahrain.

Pietro Fittipaldi, Brazilian-American driver is said to be one of the possible replacement of Mazepin

But the open full-time seat opens up other possibilities.

Oscar Piastri, the 2021 Formula 2 winner, an Alpine-affiliated driver who was left without a contract at any level in 2022, is the most obvious contender.

Antonio Giovanazzi, a former Ferrari academy ace who finished second to current Haas F1 driver Mick Schumacher in the 2020 Formula 2 championship.

And Callum Ilott, a current IndyCar driver, could be among the possibilities for the available seat in the near future.

Mazepin leaves Haas F1 after just one season, in which he and the team failed to score a single point in the sport.

After losing a tiebreaker on best finish to Robert Kubica, who filled in for Alfa Romeo for only two races, he finished 21st in the 20-driver season.

 

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