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Nikita Mazepin Haas F1 contract terminated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Russian Nikita Mazepin will not race in Formula 1 this season after his American team Haas severed ties with title sponsor Uralkali, 23, on Saturday following his country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The team did not immediately announce a replacement to run alongside Germany’s Mick Schumacher, but team boss Guenther Steiner said last week that Brazilian reserve Pietro Fittipaldi would be given the ‘first call’ .

Fittipaldi replaced Romain Grosjean at the 2020 Sakhir and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the Frenchman’s fiery crash.

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

“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.”

Mazepin’s future already looked uncertain after Haas removed the branding of Uralkali, a Russian potash producer, from their car on the final day of the Barcelona test last week following the Russian invasion on February 24 of neighboring Ukraine.

Uralkali is owned by Mazepin’s oligarch father Dmitry, with the 23-year-old’s place in the squad guaranteed by the sponsorship deal.

Mazepin made his debut last season in a rookie roster with Schumacher.

get latest updates in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict with the Post’s live coverage.

The only Russian on the grid, he would have been allowed to race in a neutral capacity, according to a decision by the FIA ​​World Motor Sport Council.

But its participation in individual races has reportedly been in doubt, especially after Motorsport UK banned Russian and Belarusian license holders from competing in the country, raising the possibility that other national motorsport federations could do the same.

Hass driver Nikita Mazepin directs his car during a Formula One pre-season testing session at the Circuit de Catalunya race track in Montmelo, just outside Barcelona, ​​Spain, February 25, 2022.
AP Photo/Joan Monfort

Haas finished bottom of the constructors’ standings last year and were the only team not to score a point after opting to forego development of their car to focus on their 2022 challenger designed under this year’s drastically revised rules. year.

But Mazepin’s performances were also disappointing, with the Russian being outclassed by team-mate Schumacher.

His ousting from Haas could mark the end of his career.

The Haas F1 team has also severed ties with sponsor Uralkali, owned by Nikita Mazepin's father, Dmitry.
The Haas F1 team has also severed ties with sponsor Uralkali, owned by Nikita Mazepin’s father, Dmitry.
AP Photo/Darko Bandic

On Thursday, Formula 1 announced it would no longer race in Russia following the termination of its Russian Grand Prix contract, which was originally due to expire in 2025.

The sport had already canceled its 2022 race in the country.

Formula 1 will hold its final pre-season test in Bahrain from March 10-12. The season will kick off in the island kingdom on March 20.

New York Post

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