Formula One team Haas F1 has reportedly removed driver Nikita Mazepin amid conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Fox News revealed on Monday (February 28th) that the American-owned Formula One team temporarily removed Nikita Mazepin. The team also removed the colors of the Russian flag. Mazepin is the son of Dmitry Mazepin, who controls the team’s sponsor Uralkali.
The principal of the team, Gunther Steiner, spoke about Nikita Mazepin’s removal. “There are legal issues we have to go through and then we see what comes out.”
Fox News further observed that Haas was last among Formula One constructors in 2021. As the team is deciding to reduce its investment ahead of the all-new car launch this season. Nikita Mazepin finished behind his teammate, Mick Schumacher, 11 of 14 times they were both competing. If Mazepin needs to drop out as a result of his relationship with Uralkali, Haas’ reserve driver, Pietro Fittipaldi, will replace him. Fittipaldi is the grandson of two-time Formula One champion, Emerson Fittipaldi.
Nikita Mazepin took to his social media accounts days after the Russian attack on Ukraine began to speak out about the situation. “To my fans and followers – it’s a difficult time,” he wrote. “And I am not in control over a lot of what is being said and done. I’m choosing to focus on what I CAN control by working hard and doing my best for my Haas team. My deepest thanks for your understanding and support.”
The DailyMail also reported that Formula One’s governing body staged an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. It was noted that the governing body would discuss Nikita Mazepin’s future in the sport as well.
Despite the Situation & Recent Comments, Haas Backs Nikita Mazepin
Meanwhile, Haas has backed Nikita Mazepin during the situation. Following the news that the Russian Grand Prix was canceled, the driver stated he was still hopeful the Sochi race would continue. He then added, “I have always been a fan of sports without politics.”