Nikita Mazepin makes surprising claim about F1 return

Nikita Mazepin completed a single season in F1 with Haas, before he was dropped amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Haas’ budget forced them to look for two rookie drivers that could provide income for the team in 2021, finally settling on Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

The American team provided their drivers with comfortably the slowest car on the grid that year as they finished last in the championship, with their drivers only really being able to race each other.

It initially looked like Mazepin would remain with the team for 2022 with Schumacher, however after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced Haas to cut ties with Uralkali, a company owned by Mazepin’s father, they also choose to replace the Russian with the more experience Kevin Magnussen.

The Russian did not look up to F1 standards during his time in the sport, gaining an unwanted reputation for spinning the car and crashing out of races, meaning that without the finances brought by his father, it was unlikely Mazepin would keep his seat on merit alone.

READ: Mattia Binotto reveals why Ferrari were forced to stop development ‘very early’

When speaking recently about his plans for 2023, Mazepin said that he will be racing outside of F1 while he continues his campaign to help fellow racers who have been exiled from sporting organisations for political reasons.

“I believe that I have a certain social mission that I am engaged in, and it brings me great pleasure,” he said.

“Next year I will also compete for myself in a new discipline outside of our country, but so far there are no signatures. So I can’t tell you about it.”

The 23-year-old has said that he is not yet giving up on a return to F1 after opening up in a recent Instagram post about his experience post Formula 1.

Article continues below

“There is the desire, of course, to continue to compete in motorsport,” said Mazepin.

“My goal is to return to Formula 1 so that is the direction I will work it.”

Since departing from F1 Mazepin has tried his hand in rally driving to great success, winning on his debut in the Russian rally Silk Way.

“I did that out of pleasure and fortunately the pleasure led to victory,” he explained.

READ: Sergio Perez branded ‘a little crazy’ after Max Verstappen claim

“But I don’t see myself as a profession rally driver.”

The Russian issued some advice to those drivers who have recently departed Formula 1 following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, claiming that it can be a tough road to coming to terms with leaving the sport.

It is yet to be announced where Mazepin will be racing next year, but should he wish to return to an FIA regulated series, he will have to race under a neutral flag after Russian drivers were banned.