Nikita Mazepin sues Canada

Nikita Mazepin was forced out of Formula 1 last season after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Former Haas driver Nikita Mazepin has filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government, as he seeks a return to Formula 1 next year.

Mazepin was swiftly dismissed from Haas, as the team cut ties with the driver and his father’s company’s Uralkali, which had sponsored the outfit.

The move came immediately in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which had sparked questions about the future of Russian sports personalities.

Mazepin hasn’t held back in his criticism of Haas for the way they handled his departure, stating last year that he only found out he had been dismissed when the team released a statement about his future.

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The FIA did rule that Russian and Belarusian drivers could compete in their events if they raced under a neutral flag, rather than for their home nation, but Mazepin claims he was sacked before he could even consider those terms.

The Russian driver has been given an interim ruling from European courts that would allow him to race in the European Union, although a Formula 1 return would require him to find a new seat, as Haas doesn’t appear willing to take him back.

Mazepin also needs to overcome another hurdle, as sanctions in countries, such as Canada, limit his ability to race in global competitions.

Since leaving Formula 1, Mazepin has competed in the Asian Le Mans Series with 99 Racing.

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According to Canada’s CTV News network, Mazepin is heading to court in the country to challenge his inclusion on the country’s sanctions list.

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The younger Mazepin’s name was added over his father Dmitry Mazepin’s links to the Russian regime

Mazepin claims that Canada’s actions “catastrophically” reduce his chance of a Formula 1 return, calling on the country’s Foreign Affairs minister to respond to the petition within five days. 

The Russian has sought to have the case pushed through court as a matter of urgency given the impending contract negotiations during the summer, where the future of drivers and teams are traditionally ironed out.