Guenther Steiner says he has not spoken to Nikita Mazepin since the driver's exit from Haas, with the team boss stating that he "doesn't need to discuss" the situation with him.
It was confirmed last week that Mazepin had been dropped from the squad, along with Russian sponsor Uralkali, following the country's major military attack on Ukraine.
Mazepin went on to speak to the press on Wednesday, and claimed to have learned of his departure from Haas at the same time as the media. He also alleged that he had not had any further communication from them since the news broke.
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Steiner: Mazepin "just ended up in the middle of it"
When asked whether he had listened to Mazepin's press conference, Steiner told media including RacingNews365.com: "No, I just saw a little piece of it."
The team boss joked that he didn't know why he hadn't been invited, and also confirmed that he has not spoken to Mazepin in recent days.
Steiner shed further light on the situation when questioned on whether he had made a conscious decision not to be in touch with Mazepin.
"It's one of these things," he added.
"What do you talk about? For sure, it's not nice, so what do you talk about?
"There was a clear reason why we did it, and the reason is clear to everybody, I think. I don't need to discuss it with him about what happened there.
"I know, as a person, it's not his fault, but the circumstance is he just ended up in the middle of it."
Steiner believes Haas did "the right thing"
Earlier this week, Mazepin and his father Dmitry were added to a list of individuals who are subject to European Union sanctions.
In light of this, Steiner believes that the team took the correct decision in parting ways with the Russian driver.
"I think we did the right thing," the team boss said.
"The sanctions. I think nobody was surprised about that, so I think we did the right thing."
Following Mazepin's departure from Haas, Kevin Magnussen has been announced as his replacement, having previously driven for the team between 2017 and 2020.
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