Nikita Mazepin is still hopeful of making a return to Formula 1, having lost his seat with Haas during pre-season testing.
Having taken part in Barcelona testing with the team he raced for in 2021, Mazepin was ousted from Haas after Russia began military action in Ukraine. Haas opted to drop title sponsor Uralkali, a Russian potash fertiliser company, who are Mazepin's personal sponsor (Dmitry Mazepin, Nikita's father being chair of Uralkali).
Haas opted to replace Mazepin with Kevin Magnussen, who drove for the team between 2017 and 2020 and was dropped as the American-owned team chased a driver who could bring in more financial support.
Mazepin chasing a comeback opportunity
It's Magnussen's comeback that is giving Mazepin hope that he too can return to F1 at some point, given that he indicated he was willing to sign the FIA's required 'Neutrality and Peace Commitment' - an agreement with the governing body that would allow Russian drivers to race under a neutral flag and essentially served as a condemnation of Russia's actions.
"Miracles happen," he told the Russian MatchTV, the TV channel that incidentally is owned by Gazprom Media, a media arm of the natural gas company of the same name.
"I will be immediately behind the wheel at the first opportunity."
As for what that opportunity might be, Mazepin couldn't speculate.
"It's difficult to say," said the Russian.
"Four months ago, I could not imagine that everything would change so much. And now I cannot imagine how everything will be fine in another four months, but I hope so."
Viewed by others:
Mazepin has no contact with Haas
The ousted Russian racer said there has been zero contact between himself and his former team, since Haas released him from his contract.=
"Why hasn't anyone contacted me? I don't know," he said.
"But if a mechanic or someone I worked closely with was fired, I would send a message on WhatsApp, regardless of my attitude towards him or towards the management.
"It would be easier on the soul, but a fact is a fact."
With Mazepin's 2021 teammate Mick Schumacher struggling for pace and consistency this season, Mazepin indicated that the tense relationship he had with the German driver hasn't thawed in the months he's been away.
"I would probably say that the results speak for themselves," he said. "I have nothing more to add."
F1 Podcast: How worried should Ferrari be by their mechanical woes?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth are joined by Julien Simon-Chautemps as they question how concerned Ferrari should be after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.