Exiled Russian driver eyeing F1 return


Nikita Mazepin is plotting his comeback to top-level motorsport

Nikita Mazepin remains confident that he will secure a Formula 1 seat in the future, several months after he was ditched by the Haas team in the wake of the onset of the Russian military campaign in Ukraine.

Russian driver Mazepin, 23, was close to beginning what would have been his second season with the US-based team before they opted to sever ties with him following the military action which prompted the introduction numerous sanctions from the United States and Europe. 

The sport’s governing body, the FIA, also took action, stating that Russian and Belarusian drivers would be forced to compete under neutral flags, mirroring actions taken by several sporting federations.

A removal of Russia-based sponsorships deals also meant that Uralkali, the potash fertilizer producer and exporter operated by Mazepin’s father Dmitry, could no longer continue their funding of the team – something which it was decided made Nikita’s seat untenable. 

Both Mazepins would subsequently be sanctioned by the European Union for their supposed links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But even in the face of these obstacles, Mazepin is focused on restarting his F1 career as soon as is possible.

I have confidence that in the future it will be possible to return,” he said, via Sport Express.

Therefore, I am at the same weight and have kept myself in good physical shape, so if such a challenge arises, I will be able to take advantage of it.”

Mazepin is also reported to have signed an official document presented to him by Formula 1 authorities in which he confirmed his opposition to the military action taking place in Ukraine.

Nonetheless, this wasn’t enough to maintain his relationship with Haas where he raced alongside Mick Schumacher, son the iconic Michael Schumacher.

I want to note that the FIA allows me under certain conditions,” Mazepin explained further.

Sport should unite and athletes from different countries should be able to compete with the best. I have always been guided by the principle that when you put on a helmet, you have no skin colour or belong to any particular state.

Formula 1 is a private business, with the decisions made by the teams themselves. 

Top teams are worth several billion dollars and I think that someday I will come to be a part of this industry as a businessman, but I’m not going to rush into it.”

Mazepin also added that he has received interest from various other avenues, IndyCar notably, but his dream remains achieving success on the Formula 1 schedule.

I’m not interested in Indycar,” Mazepin declared.

Of course, I cannot say what will happen tomorrow but all my life I wanted to get into Formula 1.

I got there, but as they say, appetite comes with eating and I have no doubt about what I could do in a competitive car.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.