Season 4 of Netflix’s Drive to Survive docuseries has revealed that Dmitry Mazepin, Nikita’s father, threated to pull Uralkali’s funding from Haas over a chassis row in 2021.
Mazepin entered Formula 1 as a rookie last season alongside Mick Schumacher, and the pair endured a difficult relationship, frequently coming close to blows while battling for the lower positions.
And, between the two races in Austria last year, Mazepin commented that he was “pretty certain” he and his German team-mate had been running different chassis over the course of the season, and team principal Guenther Steiner was forced to provide him with reassurances that, while the pair had been alternating heavier chassis, no one was being given preferential treatment.
“It’s the same car. As much as you believe it’s not, it’s the same car,” he told his driver.
Dmitry was not impressed at the situation, and even threatened to pull his company’s funding if the situation did not change.
“If it doesn’t change, I will send an official letter that we stop financing and stop racing,” he stated.
“It will be a huge problem with the money. And they will decide what to do because we will not keep this ‘let’s do, let’s do, let’s try, let’s try.’
“We already tried [for] three races and if we remove the Uralkali, we stop racing. Switch the cars. Everybody knows that someone has an advantage.”
Haas advisor Jesper Carlsen warned Steiner of a “formal letter” about “withdrawing” from the pinnacle of motorsport as Mazepin was convinced there was a “difference between the cars.”
Asked about the ordeal by the show makers, the Italian was understandably cagey.
“I don’t want to go there on an interview,” he said.
Haas and Uralkali severed their partnership earlier this week following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Mazepin also losing his seat at the American racing outfit as a result of the conflict.