Rich Energy CEO fires back at Clarkson over Mazepin insult

Jeremy Clarkson sent a controversial message to Nikita Mazepin amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week.

Rich Energy CEO William Storey has aimed a fierce retort at Jeremy Clarkson after the Grand Tour presenter slammed Haas driver Nikita Mazepin.

Following Russia’s horrifying invasion of Ukraine in recent days, Uralkali, title sponsor of the Haas team, had their branding removed by the Banbury outfit due to Russian Oligarch Dmitry Mazepin’s links to Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

Dmitry’s money paid for Nikita’s seat, and the Russian’s future now looks in doubt as team principal Guenther Steiner and owner Gene Haas attempt to negotiate their way through the legal issues surrounding their now-convoluted partnership with the Russian firm.

Clarkson did not hold back on his assessment of the 22-year-old last week, tweeting that he should return to Russia to race alone, and labelling him a “retard.”

“Nikita Mazepin. You f****** retard. Go and race in Russia on your own. You’d still lose,” he tweeted.

Storey, whose energy drinks brand was title sponsor of Haas in 2019, responded emphatically, claiming that the 61-year-old was “seeking populism” by bullying a young racing driver.

“The only retard here is a pot-bellied, imbecilic chinless wonder called Jeremy. Seeking populism & picking on a 22-year-old merely exhibits his inadequacy. Clarkson is an embarrassment. Nikita Mazepin has more talent in his little finger than Jeremy Clarkson,” he said.

Currently, it is unknown whether Haas still hold a contractual relationship with Uralkali, nor is it known whether their branding will return to the car by the beginning of the 2022 season.

Should the young Russian be replaced, Steiner has confirmed that Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will be the first in line to take his seat.

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Meanwhile, nations around the world are continuing to impose sanctions on Putin and Russia, as the invasion continues into its fifth day amid peace talks between Russia and Ukraine on the Ukraine-Belarus border.