Nikita Mazepin says he is very disappointed to lose his drive at Haas and believes his willingness to compete in Formula 1 as a neutral under the FIA’s conditions was “completely ignored”.
Haas announced on Saturday morning that is has terminated its driver contract with Mazepin and the title partnership with Uralkali with immediate effect due to their ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
While Haas has made its own decisions on the associations, the FIA had previously decided to allow Russian and Belarusian drivers to compete under an ‘FIA flag’ and with no visible links to Russia, as long as they signed a commitment agreeing to certain terms. Mazepin says he was willing to sign the commitment in order to keep racing in F1, but Haas was not open to protecting his drive.
“Dear fans and followers, I am very disappointed to hear that my F1 contract has been terminated,” Mazepin wrote. “While I understand the difficulties, the ruling from FIA plus my ongoing willingness to accept the conditions proposed in order to continue were completely ignored and no process was followed in this unilateral step.
“To those who have tried to understand, my eternal thanks. I have treasured my time in F1 and genuinely hope we can all be together again in better times. I will have more to say in the coming days.”
Haas has yet to announce any replacements for either Mazepin or Uralkali, with a decision on its driver line-up expected to be made at the start of next week ahead of the final pre-season test in Bahrain.