Court ruling allows Nikita Mazepin to return to Formula 1

Nikita Mazepin is no longer under sanctions in Europe and is able to return to Formula 1.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin is officially free to talk to teams in the paddock about a potential return; however, Russian sports lawyer Anna Antseliovich isn’t sure if he’ll be able to.

Mazepin is allowed to travel and work in Europe once again, after his sanctions on the continent were lifted.

The former Haas driver had been sanctioned in Europe for his links to the conflict in eastern Europe, which caused him to be axed by Haas in the first place ahead of the 2022 season.

Since being sanctioned by various countries and continents across the world, the Russian driver has argued his case to have the sanctions lifted, something which is starting to happen.

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Mazepin went to Europe’s Court of Justice to have the sanctions upon him in Europe lifted, something which has since happened.

Theoretically, he can now travel to Europe and work on the continent, with his lawyers recognising that he can now “negotiate with Formula 1 teams” and receive “income in connection with racing activities and negotiations with sponsors”.

Despite this, Antseliovich is unsure how much success he will have, given that the rules set by the FIA for Russian racing drivers is “not quite the same as in other sports”.

“It is difficult to say whether Mazepin will now be able to negotiate with Formula 1 teams,” she told RT.

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“The rules there are not quite the same as in other sports. After all, we are talking about commercial competitions, not representing the Russian national team,” Antseliovich added.

“Apparently, there are some agreements in Formula 1 that other athletes are not subject to.”

Besides some concerns over whether Mazepin will be able to return to the pinnacle of motorsport or not, Antseliovich believes that overall, his sanctions being lifted in Europe is a “good precedent for all of our athletes”.

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“It is no secret that legislators in most countries, including those in the EU, pay attention to these verdicts in similar cases,” Antseliovich said.

“Let’s not forget that he was on the sanctions lists.”

Mazepin has expressed his intent on returning to the F1 paddock, which he’s only spent one season in (2021).