It’s official, Nikita Mazepin is OUT! With just two weeks to go until the first race of the season in Bahrain, Haas have announced they’ve dropped the Russian driver for the 2022 season.
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) March 5, 2022
Mazepin’s return was already looking increasingly unlikely, as economic sanctions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine put his Uralkali sponsorship at risk. On the final day of testing last week, Haas pulled all of the Russian fertiliser producer’s branding from their cars and paddock buildings.
Additionally, despite the FIA ruling that all Russian and Belarusian drivers could continue to compete under a neutral flag, some countries have taken matters into their own hands.
Motorsport UK has banned drivers from both countries from competing in the UK, including at the British Grand Prix this July.
Mazepin’s F1 career has been dominated by controversy. Before he’d even made his debut last year, Haas had to release a statement about an “abhorrent” social media post and condemned his actions.
Things didn’t get any better on track, with Mazepin being beaten by his teammate and fellow rookie Mick Schumacher and struggling to get to grips with the VF-21.
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