Will Nikita Mazepin return to F1 in 2024?

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Nikita Mazepin was replaced by Kevin Magnussen at Haas F1 team ahead of the 2022 season – will he return in 2024?

Russian driver Nikita Mazepin is giving it his all to make a comeback to Formula One in 2024. Mazepin has dragged Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly to court to have sanctions against him removed. The sanctions imposed on him by the Canadian Government, prevent him from competing in any motorsports event in Canada and the Russian claims that the sanctions have severely affected his racing career.

Nikita Mazepin
Nikita Mazepin

Mazepin’s official court application states that he would like to make an F1 return in 2024. However, one of the rounds is scheduled to take place in Montreal and his chances of him being taken up by any F1 would “catastrophically reduce” if the sanctions against him are not removed by the Canadian Government. Mazepin has been out of F1 action since the beginning of the 2022 season after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He was unceremoniously sacked by the Haas F1 team, who quickly brought in Kevin Magnussen as the Russian driver’s replacement. Magnussen continues to drive for Haas till date.

What led to Nikita Mazepin’s removal in 2022?

Nikita Mazepin was removed as an F1 driver by Haas in 2022. The removal came at the back of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine following which several global sporting bodies including the FIA imposed sanctions on Russia. However, the FIA confirmed that Russian drivers would be allowed to compete under a neutral banner.

But, Motorsport UK announced a ban on Russian from competing in Britain which meant that Mazepin wouldn’t have been able to participate in the British GP. As a result, Haas was unwilling to take risks and replaced Mazepin with Magnussen in their drivers’ roster.

Nikita Mazepin
Image Credits – Sky Sports

Mazepin’s father Russian oligarch Dmitry Mazepin is the owner of Haas’s former chief sponsor – Uralkali. However, that wasn’t of much help to young Mazepin during the Ukraine crisis. The US-based team dropped the Uralkali branding from their cars followed by the sacking of Mazepin. The young Russian has always maintained that he was treated ‘unfairly’ and is now hell bent on making a grand F1 comeback.

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