Nikita Mazepin Fired by Haas F1. The contract of Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and his sponsor Uralkali, a Russian fertilizer company owned by his father, was terminated. As a result, Mazepin will start a foundation to help athletes excluded from competition due to the invasion of Russia into Ukraine.
Formula One already ended its contract with the Russian Grand Prix, and Mazepin learned of his firing through his attorney. It was a very painful and unexpected moment for Mazepin, who said he “lost his dream.”
Replacing Mazepin is reserve driver Pietro Fittipadli and it was also announced that Hass signed Kevin Magnussen to return to the team. Magnussen was let go last year by Haas after four years with the team.
As for Mazepin, he was clearly left shaken by his firing, but refused to answer any questions about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Mazepin indicated that at the young age of 23 he wasn’t ready for the firing and wasn’t given any advanced warning.
FIA, the governing body of motorsports, banned Russia from all international competitions, but allowed individual drivers as a neutral athlete without their national symbols, colors, anthems or flag. Mazepin did not answer whether or not he can be a neutral athlete based on his father’s relationship with Putin.
Mazepin’s foundation is called “We Compte As One” and will provide financial and non-financial resources for those that have prepared for the Olympics or Paralympics but couldn’t compete because of the passports they held.
Mazepin said he got messages from four F1 drivers, but surprisingly not from former teammate Schumacher, the sone of legendary F1 champion Michael Schumacher. Mazepin shook it off noting that “in situations like this, you can see the true face of everyone around you.”