EU Court of Justice rules Nikita Mazepin can return to Formula 1

Nikita Mazepin was dropped by Haas just a matter of days before the start of the 2022 season.

The Court of Justice of the European Union has granted Russian driver Nikita Mazepin permission to return to Formula 1, after the former Haas driver took his case to them.

Mazepin was due to race for the American side last season but was axed from Haas not long before the start of the 2022 season, following the start of the conflict in Eastern Europe.

He was dropped after Haas parted ways with former title sponsor Uralkali, who were owned by Mazepin’s father.

The Russian driver has been granted permission to return to Europe, though, under the condition that he doesn’t race through any sponsors linked to his father, according to Tass news agency.

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Whether he can get himself a future seat at the pinnacle of motorsport remains to be seen; however, he does now have the ability to try.

“I am pleased with the court’s decision, which gives me hope for a return to international motorsport,” the Russian news agency Ria Novosti quotes Mazepin as saying.

“I will do my best to catch up and look forward to returning to the cause to which I devoted most of my life.

“We suffered under the communist regime,” Mazepin said, “so we know what it was like when children are held responsible for what their parents did or didn’t do.

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“So my question is: why are we putting a Formula 1 driver on the sanctions list because of suspicions about his father’s connections with the Russian government?”

His one season in F1 was largely unsuccessful, with Haas having carried their 2020 car into 2021, meaning Mazepin’s rookie season was spent at the back of the grid.

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He was often criticised for getting in other drivers’ way and disobeying blue flags, with him having often been found in last.

His best result during his rookie campaign was fourteenth at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, whilst he missed the final race of the season after testing positive for COVID-19.

Mazepin recently completed in the recent Asian Le Mans series in what was his first time racing outside of Russia since the conflict started, with him now being able to race in Europe following the green light from the court.