Mazepin claims Haas didn’t tell him he would be sacked before announcing it to the media

Nikita Mazepin was let go by Haas following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Nikita Mazepin feels let down by Haas after their decision to terminate his contract amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

As part of a deal between Haas and Uralkali last year, Mazepin had his seat paid for by his father Dmitry, who part owns the Russian firm.

The 23-year-old had looked set to continue alongside Mick Schumacher going into the 2022, but Moscow’s war on Ukraine was met with global condemnation and led to fresh waves of heavy sanctions being placed upon Russia.

Haas also took the decision to remove Uralkali branding, completely disassociating themselves from a commercial standpoint.

The FIA then ruled that branding of Russian and Belarusian companies is prohibited from appearing in global motorsport, and Formula 1’s contract with the Russian Grand Prix was terminated, meaning there will be no race in the country for the foreseeable future.

The Banbury-based would later sever their ties with their now former title sponsor, leaving an untenable situation for Mazepin, whose contract was terminated.

He took to social media to say that his compliance with a new document requiring Russian and Belarusian competitors to agree to the new terms for their presence in motorsport were “completely ignored” by the team, and he has reiterated that they had “no legal reason” to let him go.

“I deserved more support from the team,” he said during a press conference.

“There is no legal reason to terminate the contract. I was relieved to see that the FIA allowed us to start in neutral colours, I was hoping to drive.

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“[But] everything changed and I lost the dream I had been working for for 18 years.

“I heard about my kick from Haas, like everyone else, from the press. I didn’t deserve it.

“I was very disappointed with how it was played. I hadn’t been worried since I left Barcelona [after last month’s test].”

The Russian will not have an issue with the driver who ultimately replaces him, insisting that they have no involvement in his plight, and would like to explore avenues to one day return to the pinnacle of motorsport.

“I wish all the best to the drivers who will replace me, they have nothing to do with the existing situation,” he explained.

“F1 is not a closed chapter for me, I will be ready to race in case there is an opportunity to return.”

Multiple names have been dropped into the conversation regarding who will fill the vacant slot on the grid, with former Haas driver Kevin Magnussen being touted, as well as fellow former F1 drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Antonio Giovinazzi.

Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri and current F2 driver Jason Daruvala, who is backed by Red Bull, were suggested as possible candidates by BBC journalist Andrew Benson, but Pietro Fittipaldi will be behind the wheel during pre-season testing in Bahrain, and journalist Sergio Rodriguez recently told us that the Brazilian “will start the season.”