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Nikita Mazepin sacked by Haas as Russian sponsor Uralkali dropped by Formula 1 team


After a week of intense speculation, Haas announced the news that Russian driver Nikita Mazepin will not race for the team in the upcoming 2022 season

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Formula One cancels Russian Grand Prix following invasion of Ukraine

Haas have torn up Nikita Mazepin’s contract and confirmed that the Russian racer will not take part in the 2022 Formula 1 season.

The team’s decision comes amid the invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions levied upon Russian sportspeople as a result.

Shortly after war broke out, Haas removed all traces of the Russian flag from its livery during Barcelona testing along with their Uralkali title sponsor.

The Russian fertiliser firm is co-owned by Dmitry Mazepin – a billionaire with ties to Vladimir Putin and father of the 22-year-old racer.

Mazepin’s future as a driver was placed into further doubt after Motorsport UK announced that Russian competitors would not be allowed to race in UK events.

That move effectively banned him from the British Grand Prix.







Nikita Mazepin has been dropped by Haas
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Image:

PA)

Even though the FIA has allowed Russian and Belarusian racers to compete under a neutral flag, the threat of more bans from individual races made it only more likely that Haas would part company with Mazepin.

The team made the decision official on Saturday morning in a statement, just two weeks before the 2022 season opener in Bahrain.

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

“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.”

Long-time F1 commentator David Croft took to social media after the news was announced to reveal that Haas are yet to source a replacement to partner Mick Schumacher in the coming season.

“Haas say no decision on a replacement for Mazepin has been made yet and any news is likely to be announced early next week,” he wrote on Twitter.

Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi is the favourite to fill the vacant seat, though there are other options for the team.

Antonio Giovinazzi is without a seat having been let go by Alfa Romeo at the end of last season, and could join his fellow Ferrari development driver Schumacher.

Another potential option is Oscar Piastri, who won the F2 championship last year but was not offered a seat in Formula 1.

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