Mazepin reveals he hasn’t spoken to Steiner since Haas axe

Several Formula 1 drivers have reached out to Nikita Mazepin since his departure from Formula 1.

Former Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin has revealed that he has not had any conversations with Haas team principal Guenther Steiner since his contract with the team was terminated.

Mazepin entered the sport last year after his father Dmitry, part owner of Uralkali, paid for his drive and partnered with the Banbury squad.

However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Haas opted to end their partnership with the Russia-based firm, thus leaving the 23-year-old with a seat for 2022.

Motorsport UK has banned all Russian and Belarusian competitors from participating in events in the country, which the Russian automobile federation (RAF) labelled as “discrimination.”

Further, the FIA placed a prohibition on all branding, flags and symbols pertaining to Russia and Belarus, making Uralkali’s partnership with Haas untenable.

The young Russian reveals that he has not had any contact with Steiner since Haas’ decision to end his short tenure with them.

“I’m a young man and I was not ready for it,” he said during a press conference.

“I did not speak to Gunther personally and I still haven’t.”

He revealed that a number of F1 drivers have contacted him personally to wish him well after what will have been a particularly upsetting moment for him.

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“It’s situations like these when you see the real face of those around you,” he explained.

“I appreciate the small number of drivers who expressed their support for me – Sergio, Valtteri, Charles, George, they all contacted me. They know how important the situation is.

“Nothing political but just on a personal level, because athletes and lives have been broken and destroyed.”

Mazepin and his father, who is an oligarch with close links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, have both been sanctioned by the FIA, while many athletes from Russia and Belarus have now been banned as a result of their respective countries’ indiscretions against Ukraine.

The 23-year-old has therefore set up the “We Compete As One” organisation, and the money that was initially reserved for Uralkali’s funding of the Haas team will not be used on this new initiative.

“It will be funded by Uralkali using the money that had been intended for Formula 1 this season,” he explained.

“We will begin with the paralympic team in Russia, which was banned from the Games in Beijing.”

Uralkali, meanwhile, are demanding that Haas reimburse them for the money the potash producer has already given them in 2022.

“Haas failed to meet its commitments by terminating the contract prior to the first race,” said a spokesperson.

“Uralkali should therefore be promptly compensated for the payments Haas received.”

The two-time Formula 2 race winner has not closed the door on a return to racing one day, but he insists that a driver needs to work with a team they have confide in, and he no longer sees Haas as such.

“Formula 1 is a dangerous sport and you have to trust the team you work with. Unfortunately, I have to say that I don’t have any confidence in them anymore,” he affirmed.

The Moscow-born racer also reiterated that there are many aspects of the war in Eastern Europe that people in the West cannot see.

“Those who do not live in this part of the world see only part of the conflict. People from Russia and Ukraine understand it on many more levels,” he revealed.

Mazepin has been replaced by Kevin Magnussen, who makes a sensational return after spending a year racing in IMSA with Chop Ganassi in 2021, claiming a race win in the process.

He leaped at the chance to come back to the pinnacle of motorsport, and expressed his gratitude to Chip Ganassi for releasing him from his contract.