mazepin-nikita-haas f1 team 2022 fired no drive

Mazepin could be back in Formula1? EU ruling will allow him

mazepin-nikita-haas f1 team 2022 fired no drive

The European Union’s General Court handed a win to Russian former F1 driver Nikita Mazepin, overturning EU sanctions imposed against him as part of the bloc’s response to the war in Ukraine.

The European Union said it had added Mazepin, 25, to its sanctions list due to his association with his father, Dmitry, an influential businessman who it said was the main sponsor of his son’s activities as a racing driver.

Previously the European Union had described Dmitry Mazepin as “a member of the closest circle” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But in Wednesday’s ruling, the court said Mazepin had stopped being a driver for the Haas F1 racing team, meaning the EU was wrong to keep the athlete on its sanctions list after he quit the team.

The court said the “association” criterion used in the EU sanctions regime requires the existence of a link going beyond a simple family relationship which it said wasn’t the case after Mazepin stopped F1 racing.

“I am hugely encouraged by today’s ruling and grateful to the European Court for a fair trial of my case,” Mazepin said in a statement e-mailed by one of his aides. “This is certainly a crucial milestone.”

Mazepin has also challenged EU and Canadian sanctions as part of his attempt to return to F1. He currently competes in the Asian Le Mans series, a lesser-known racing league staging competitions in the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.

The Mazepins were said to be interested in starting their own team, with Hitech reportedly a bid made to be an 11th team which the FIA F1’s ruling body did not approve. Instead, they gave the nod to Andretti Global. The chance 25-year-old Nikita will be hired by a current team are slim.

His aide did not immediately reply when asked by Reuters if Mazepin still planned to return to F1. Last month, diplomatic sources told Reuters the EU was preparing to lift sanctions on Mazepin, saying Hungary had been lobbying on the driver’s behalf. (Reporting by Tassilo Hummel)