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Nikita Mazepin

Haas drop Mazepin ahead of 2022 season

Haas and Nikita Mazepin have parted ways ahead of the 2022 F1 season; the team taking action amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Mazepin Schumacher shakedown 2022
To news overview © Haas

Haas have confirmed that Nikita Mazepin will not drive for the team during the upcoming Formula 1 season, with the Russian racer being dropped following his country's major military attack on Ukraine.

The move comes despite the FIA recently opting against a complete ban on Russian and Belarusian drivers in motorsport, with the governing body allowing them to continue competing as neutrals.

In a statement issued on Saturday, it was made official that Haas and Mazepin have parted ways. Along with dropping Mazepin, the team have also ended their contract with title sponsor Uralkali, the Russian potash fertiliser company that are also Mazepin's personal sponsor.

"Haas F1 Team has elected to terminate, with immediate effect, the title partnership of Uralkali, and the driver contract of Nikita Mazepin," read the statement.

"As with the rest of the Formula 1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict."

Who will replace Mazepin?

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner had previously stated that Pietro Fittipaldi would have the "first call" for the seat, should it become available, stating that "there is nobody better around at the moment" than the Brazilian-American.

However, the team have elected not to confirm a replacement for Mazepin at this time. A team spokesperson has explained that a decision regarding who will slot into Haas' second car will be made early during next week, in the days leading up to the Bahrain test that begins on Thursday 10 March.

Another name linked with replacing Mazepin has been former Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi. The Italian driver left F1 as a race driver at the end of 2021 and has found refuge in Formula E. However, he remains part of Ferrari's junior programme and, with Ferrari having strong ties to the Haas outfit, could be a leading candidate for the full-time drive in 2022.