Sunday, January 29

Haas F1 team terminates contracts with Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and title sponsor Uralkali

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Russian driver Nikita Mazepin during F1 Testing on February 23, in Barcelona, Spain.

The Haas Formula One team has terminated the contract of Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and its title sponsor, Russian chemical giant Uralkali, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the team announced on Saturday.

“Haas F1 Team has elected to terminate, with immediate effect, the title partnership of Uralkali, and the driver contract of Nikita Mazepin,” the team said in a statement. “As with the rest of the Formula 1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict.”

A replacement driver is expected to be named next week.

On Tuesday, the FIA said that Russian and Belarusian drivers could continue to race, but only under a neutral “FIA flag” and without displaying any Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colors or flags on their uniform, equipment and car “until further notice.” This ruling also extends to individual competitors and officials.

Mazepin tweeted that he was “very disappointed” that his contract had been terminated.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,” he said.

“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.”

CNN has reached out to the Haas team for comment.

Formula One terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter on Thursday, meaning Russia will no longer have a future race.

The 2022 Formula One season starts on March 20 in Bahrain.

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