Haas F1 Team Terminates Russian Driver Nikita Mazepin’s Contract

Formula One team Haas announced on Saturday that it has sacked Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and terminated its contract with title sponsor Uralkali due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The Haas F1 Team has elected to terminate Uralkali’s title partnership and Nikita Mazepin’s driver contract with immediate effect,” the team said in a statement posted on its website.

Uralkali, a potash group, has Mazepin’s father, Dmitry Mazepin, as a non-executive director.

Mazepin said he was ready to comply with the FIA ​​governing body’s decision last Tuesday that Russian drivers should compete under the FIA ​​flag and at “neutral capacity”.

“I am very disappointed to learn that my F1 contract has been terminated,” he wrote on Instagram.

“While I understand the difficulties, the decision of the FIA ​​as well as my continued willingness to accept the proposed conditions to continue have been completely ignored and no process has been involved in this unilateral step.

“I will have more to say in the next few days.”

“Like the rest of the Formula 1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes a speedy and peaceful end to the conflict,” the American team said in a statement.

Mazepin, 23, finished his first season in 21st place. It remains unclear who will replace him for 2022. The 23-year-old failed to score a single point in his first F1 season last year alongside Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher .

F1 on Thursday canceled its contract with the Russian Grand Prix until 2025 to show its support for Ukraine. The Black Sea resort of Sochi has hosted the race since the first race in 2014, but St. Petersburg was due to replace it as the venue in 2023.

Haas withdrew sponsorship from Uralkali last week and ran white cars on the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, ​​instead of the typical red, white and blue with a livery that resembles the Russian flag.

Pre-season testing continues in Bahrain next week ahead of the season-opening race on March 20.

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