Nikita Mazepin has questioned Formula 1's ethics in the wake of a dispute between Haas and Uralkali

Nikita Mazepin, the Russian Formula 1 driver who was cast aside by Haas on the eve of the new season in the wake of his country's military operation in Ukraine, has questioned the sport's values after his former team's decision to end their relationship with him and his associates.

Haas also called time on their sponsorship deal with Russian company Uralkali, which is run by Mazepin's father Dmitry.

Following the end of the sponsorship deal, Uralkali demanded that Haas return the $13 million they had supplied in sponsorship funds ahead of the 2022 season – and not only did Haas refuse, they reportedly demanded a further $8.6 million in compensation for lost profits.


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Mazepin, who still harbors ambitions of a return for Formula 1, told CNN in response to the public spat between his father's company and his former team that F1 entities must be held more accountable – while also saying that he believes his refusal to criticize Russia's military campaign in Ukraine won't be held against him as he seeks another opportunity in the sport.

Everybody has a right to speak or not to speak and the FIA, the highest governing body, has enabled me to compete as long as I'm neutral,” Mazepin said.

But I would say the biggest issue here is coming back to the sport where teams are allowed to be keeping sponsorship money without fulfilling the contract. And even asking for more, even though they say they don't want money from Russia. So I'm not sure, but the sport values need to be evaluated for me after this.

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Nikita Mazepin was dropped by Haas ahead of the season. © Mark Thompson / Getty Images
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As for his future in F1, Mazepin says he remains hopeful.

It's difficult to say at this moment in time, because I'm very wary that my issue is that I've lost a job," he indicated.

I was trying to get to F1 for 17 years and then I eventually got there. But it's a very minor issue if you compare to the big things that are going on in the world right now.

Of course, I would love to get back to the sport. I feel that I've got a lot of unfinished business there. But I need to wait until things cool down. And I don't even know who I can get back to because, you know, Haas has obviously done what they did with playing not the cleanest game, in my opinion. But it's different for me.”

As for the situation in Ukraine, Mazepin admits that it is very 'painful' for him to see.

My view is that, whatever is going on right now, and I can only see a very small bit from where I am in Moscow, it's very painful,” Mazepin said. “And I definitely feel it.

I've been living for 23 years, and I was living in a very calm world. But as to my official position, I've said many times that it's very important to be neutral for me, because I'm an athlete.

“And I feel that it's important to be able to be neutral. Even for that, I have created a foundation that will help athletes stay neutral in principle.”


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