Nikita Mazepin and his oligarch father added to EU sanctions list

Nikita Mazepin's contract was terminated by Haas following Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

Former Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin and his father Dmitry have been added to the list of people sanctioned by the European Union following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of their neighbouring country late last month, prompting widespread condemnation from world leaders and the imposition of fresh waves of financial sanctions against Moscow and wealthy Russians with ties to the Kremlin.

Haas took the decision to drop Uralkali as its title sponsor in light of the aggression Russia has shown towards its neighbour, and as a result Nikita lost his seat due to Dmitry’s funding being cut, as he part owns the Potash producer that paid for the 23-year-old’s seat.

The Moscow-born racer stated that his compliance with new FIA contingencies surrounding Russian and Belarusian involvement in motorsport were “completely ignored” by Haas, who have now replaced him with Kevin Magnussen.

The EU notes that Dmitry, who is said to have met with Putin on the day the invasion began, is “a member of the closest circle” to Putin, while Nikita is “a natural person associated with a leading businessperson [his father] involved in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the Government of the Russian Federation.”

The young Russian recently suggested that his contract was terminated for political reasons, and affirmed that sport should be bringing people together at this time.

“Is this where we want the sports to be? Or are sports a way to bring people together, even at the toughest times, and especially at the toughest times. My experience in the last few days has greatly informed my thinking on these questions,” he said.

He has also revealed that he has received messages of support from Mercedes’ George Russell and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, among others.

“In situations like this you can see the true face of everybody around you,” he stated.

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“They know how important the sport is to them, to their lives. They supported me in feeling for me for losing that opportunity to compete. [It was] Nothing political. Just personal, ‘keep your head up’.”

“It was just what I believe a good human being should do.”

The former Haas man has now set up the “We Compete As One” organisation, aimed at providing support for Russian and Belarusian athletes who have been affected as a consequence of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

“The foundation will allocate resources to those athletes who have spent their lives preparing for Olympics or Paralympics or other top events only to find they were forbidden from competing and collectively punished just because of the passports they held,” he confirmed.

Russian billionaire and oligarch Roman Abramovich has also recently been sanctioned by the UK, potentially precluding his sale of Chelsea Football Club.