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JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - DECEMBER 04: Nikita Mazepin of Russia and Haas F1 walks in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on December 04, 2021 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

BREAKING: Haas confirm Mazepin future

The team have released a statement on their ties to Mazepin and Uralkali

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After days of speculation, Haas F1 Team have released a statement on the future of their relationship with Uralkali and their driver Nikita Mazepin.

Haas have terminated both their agreement with Uralkali and the contract of Nikita Mazepin. The move is with immediate effect and comes after days of rumour and speculation. It is expected that reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will assume the seat in the Haas lineup. However, the team say no decision has been made on Mazepin’s replacement yet.

The team confirmed their solidarity with the Ukrainian cause and “wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict.”

Team statement below:

Haas Image Credit: @HaasF1Team on Twitter

What has happened so far?

It is widely accepted that Nikita Mazepin’s position in the team was contingent upon Haas’ deal with title sponsorship deal with Uralkali. The Russian potash fertilizer producer and exporter are closely tied to the driver, as his father, Dmitry Mazepin is a major shareholder in the company through his firm, Uralchem.

This action from Haas has been expected for a number of days. The FIA had already barred drivers from competing under a Russian flag. This came after the 2022 Russian Grand Prix had been cancelled. Additionally, they prohibited the use of the Russian flag on cars, which featured heavily in Haas’ 2022 livery. There were also sporting sanctions on Belarus.

Many felt this wasn’t far enough. And following this, Motorsport UK moved to ban Russian drivers from competing in the UK. This meant Mazepin would not have been able to compete at the British Grand Prix in July.

Further to cancelling the 2022 race, F1 has terminated their contract with the Russian Grand Prix.

Gene Haas, team owner, has in recent days confirmed that Haas’ involvement in F1 isn’t predicated upon Uralkali sponsorship, and that he was happy for the team to make relative losses. Haas primarily uses F1 as a marketing tool for his company, Haas Automation.

The pressure has been particularly intense for Haas and the Mazepins, as the Mazepin family has close ties to the Putin regime. It is also understood that Dmitry Mazepin has recently held an audience with the Russian President. Neither Mazepin has publically condemned Putin’s actions and the invasion of Ukraine.

At 9:57am, Nikita Mazepin responded to the news that his contract with Haas had been terminated. Posted to Twitter, it said:

Mazepin response

Image Credit: @nikita_mazepin on Twitter

Featured Image Credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images

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