Frustrated by his swift departure from Formula 1 last season, Russian driver Nikita Mazepin has expanded his legal action over FIA restrictions and international sanctions.
Mazepin was removed from Haas shortly before the first race of the season, as team principal Guenther Steiner quickly reacted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by cutting ties with the driver and his father’s company Uralkali.
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.
Kevin Magnussen was brought in at the last minute and has had a relatively successful run in the car, even securing a P7 finish in his first race back.
“Nikita appealed to the UK court,” a spokesman for the Russian driver confirmed, accusing Britain of imposing “illegal” sanctions against Mazepin.
Mazepin recently launched legal action against Canada, recognising the need to move swiftly if he is to return next year, as any decision over his future would need to come before the summer driver market kicks into gear.
The Russian driver has been given an interim ruling from European courts that would allow him to race in the European Union, although, without clearance from all nations where F1 races, he’s unlikely to get a seat.
Even if Mazepin does get clearance to compete in F1 again, he is going to find it tough to secure a seat on the grid, with few spots available and a lot of competition from experienced and new drivers keen to grab any opportunities.
Haas appears to have ruled out any return for Mazepin, having found a comfortable position through the pairing of Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg.
Since leaving Formula 1, Mazepin has competed in the Asian Le Mans Series with 99 Racing.