Sacked Formula One driver Nikita Mazepin has been included on a list of people who face sanctions from the European Union over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Dmitry Mazepin, Nikita’s father, was also part of the 64-page document and described as “a member of the closest circle of Vladimir Putin” on the same day his son vowed to force his way back into the sport.
Mazepin junior was dismissed by Haas on Saturday with the American-based team calling for peace in Ukraine in their press release, which the 23-year-old claimed was how he discovered his contract had been terminated.
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) March 5, 2022
The driver, who has made 21 F1 starts, spoke about being fired for the first time on Wednesday morning but later in the day an EU document linked him to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
It read: “Nikita Mazepin is the son of Dmitry Arkadievich Mazepin, General Director of JSC UCC Uralchem. As Uralchem sponsors Haas F1 Team, Dmitry Mazepin is the major sponsor of his son’s activities at Haas F1 Team.
“He is a natural person associated with a leading businessperson (his father) involved in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the Government of the Russian Federation, which is responsible for the annexation of Crimea and the destabilisation of Ukraine.”
Dmitry Mazepin, a Russian oligarch, is a part-owner of Haas’ former title sponsor Uralkali – but that deal was also torn up over the weekend.
The EU document insisted Russian company Uralkali, due to it being the largest producer of ammonium nitrate and the second-largest producer of ammonia and nitrogen fertilisers in Russia, was responsible for the destabilisation of Ukraine.
Meanwhile Mazepin senior was also alleged to have met Russian president Putin on February 24th alongside 36 other businesspeople.
“The fact that he was invited to attend this meeting shows that he is a member of the closest circle of Vladimir Putin and that he is supporting or implementing actions or policies which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine,” an EU document said of Dmitry Mazepin.
“It also shows that he is one of the leading businesspersons involved in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the Government of Russia, which is responsible for annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of Ukraine.”
Uralkali published their own statement on Wednesday demanding “immediate reimbursement” of money already transferred to Haas for the forthcoming season.
Nikita Mazepin had revealed on the same day Britain’s George Russell had sent a message of support in the wake of his dismissal.
Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc were the other F1 drivers to message said the Russian, who did not rule out taking legal action against Haas.
During a scripted five-minute monologue, Mazepin announced the creation of a foundation called, We Compete As One, to support athletes “forbidden from competing, and collectively punished just because of the passports they hold”.
On three occasions he was asked whether he felt it was realistic he could continue in F1 given his father’s links to Putin.
Mazepin replied: “There have been two stages in the decision of allowing Russian drivers to continue.
“Firstly an online vote held by the FIA where everyone had a say and they ruled drivers from Russia and Belarus could compete if they are neutral.
“I was ready to agree with this and consider myself neutral.
“When they added an additional letter which I had to sign, I did not look at it because my contract had already been terminated.”
#F1 drivers show their support for Ukraine ahead of this week’s test in Bahrain. Hamilton only current driver not involved due to delayed travel. He’s set to arrive later today. https://t.co/L9qZnFAZiE
— Philip Duncan (@PhilDuncanF1) March 9, 2022
The Moscow-born driver finished 21st in his debut F1 campaign last year and stated he felt a way back into the sport was possible.
“It is good to keep all (legal) options open. There was no legal reason that could enable the team to terminate my contract,” Mazepin said.
“I learnt about the firing of me the same time it was released to the press. I am a young man and I was not ready for it. I did not receive any hint, or any support, or be told that this is the decision we have taken. I learnt the same time as you did.
“I lost my dream which I have been working towards for 18 years. I didn’t imagine the situation of losing my drive would happen so soon.
“But I absolutely do not see Formula One as a closed chapter. I am going to stay in race condition and I will be ready to take on an opportunity if it comes.”