Nikita Mazepin to make F1 return with Haas?

Nikita Mazepin spent a single season in F1 with Haas back in 2021.

In 2021, Haas were in desperate need of money and appointed two rookies in the form of Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher.

With the team focusing all of their attention on the major regulation changes that were coming in 2022, Haas finished last in the championship, with neither Mazepin or Schumacher providing the team with any points.

Schumacher was kept on by Haas for 2022 and improved drastically, while Mazepin was let go and has not been seen in F1 since.

While Mazepin failed to impress during his time with Haas, it was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that saw him lose his seat rather than his performances.

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When the invasion started, Haas cut ties with Nikita Mazepin and his father Dmitry, who sponsored the team via Uralkali.

Since then, Russian drivers have been banned from F1, with Ferrari’s test driver Robert Shwartzman having to race under his Israeli passport to take part in tests for the Scuderia.

Mazepin has since taken his case to court in order to return to F1 and it has now been revealed that the 24-year-old won.

According to the court’s verdict, Mazepin is still “subject to restrictive measures,” but is allowed to “negotiate his employment as a professional Formula 1 driver.”

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It is believed that one of the conditions of Mazepin being allowed to return to F1 is that he is forbidden from being backed by his father, who is specifically listed in anti-Russian sanctions.

“I am pleased with the court’s decision, which gives me hope for a return to international motorsport,” Mazepin told Russian news agency Ria Novosti following the court case.

“I will do my best to catch up and look forward to returning to the cause to which I devoted most of my life.”

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While Mazepin is now allowed to return to F1, it remains to be seen whether any team would take a gamble of the 24-year-old following his poor performances for Haas.

The Russian’s constant accidents and spins saw him given the nickname ‘Mazespin’, while his teammate Mick Schumacher regularly beat him.

Without the financial backing of his father, Mazepin becomes a much less appealing option to F1 teams, making his return to the sport unlikely.