Mazepin to fight his case in British courts


Former Haas Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin is fighting British sanctions, imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in a bid to resurrect his motor racing career.

Mazepin was dropped last March by his American-owned Haas team, which also severed ties with its title sponsor Uralkali, a Russian fertiliser producer then controlled by his father, Belarus-born oligarch Dmitry Mazepin.

Both were later sanctioned by the European Union – which described Dmitry Mazepin as “a member of the closest circle” of Vladimir Putin – as well as Britain and Canada.

Nikita Mazepin, 24, is now trying to overturn the British sanctions so he can negotiate with F1 teams to return to the sport in 2024. Britain imposed an asset freeze and travel ban on Mazepin, which his lawyers told London’s High Court on Wednesday was preventing him from negotiating with teams.

His lawyer Rachel Scott said Mazepin wanted his challenge heard as a matter of “urgency” because of the need to develop a relationship with team staff before the 2024 season if he is offered a contract.

Mazepin is also challenging EU and Canadian sanctions as part of his attempt to return to F1. In a witness statement, he said “even if – or while – the Canadian sanctions remain in place, there is at least a prospect of me being able to enter into negotiations to return to Formula One if sanctions are lifted in both the EU and UK.”

However, lawyers representing Britain’s Foreign Office argued that Mazepin could still negotiate with F1 teams with the sanctions in place. Another hearing is expected to take place in June to decide whether sanctions can be temporarily lifted pending Mazepin’s full challenge, which will be heard in July.

Meanwhile, according to Russian news agency Ria Novosti, Mazepin is supposedly linked to the side through his father Dmitry, who previously had shares in Hitech GP before the conflict in Eastern Europe started last year. It’s believed by the Russian media outlet that Dmitry remains close to Oakes and is now considering entering a team into F1. (Reporting by Sam Tobin)