Nikita Mazepin was sacked by Haas before the start of the 2022 season along with title sponsor Uralkali, as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian driver was a real ‘marmite’ figure in F1, with many either loving or hating him throughout his year in the sport, mainly as a result of controversies involving Mazepin prior to his career in F1.
The Russian finished in last place most weekends, being beaten by teammate Mick Schumacher on a regular basis, giving him a reputation as a pay driver, with his father’s money seemingly being the only reason that he secured a seat in the first place.
Jokes began to flood the internet with the ‘Mazespin’ nickname being born as a result of the Russian’s habit of spinning the car nearly every weekend, even being mentioned on Sky Sports live commentary.
These jokes have now resurfaced after the former Haas driver was seen ‘spinning’ DJ decks at a Halloween event on his Instagram.
One user wrote “Not the first time Mazepin has spun a track, we used to use spin and track with him in the same sentence all the time.”
A website was even set up last year that counted upwards until the Russian spun the car again, then the clock would reset, captioned ‘when did Mazespin last spin’.
It looked set that Mazepin would continue with Haas in 2022 until the team were forced to sack him, with the driver refusing to race under a neutral nationality.
“People cannot be condemned. We are all athletes and everyone has their own choices, which must be respected,” he said when asked about his refusal to select a neutral capacity.
“I don’t agree with the sanctions, I’ve said before I agree to fight it. Perhaps now is not the right time. If you look at the whole situation that is happening against athletes in the general case, it’s a cancel culture against my country.”
Robert Schwartzman had to change his declared nationality to Israeli in order to take part in FP1 in Austin for Ferrari, with all Russian and Belarusian drivers being banned from racing in international competitions.