Former F1 driver Nikita Mazepin has won his appeal in Europe’s Court of Justice to return to the sport following his exit from Haas at the start of the 2022 season.
Mazepin was shown the door by Haas after the team ended ties with title sponsor Uralkali following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Given the fact that Uralkali was owned by the father of Nikita, Dmitry Mazepin, it made no sense for the team to continue its association with the family.
Nikita Mazepin was understandably far from happy with the nature of his exit and appealed his case to the Court of Justice of the European Union and it was learned on Thursday that he won.
Mazepin is still “subject to restrictive measures” with regards to his entry at European F1 circuits, but has the opportunity to “negotiate his employment as a professional Formula 1 driver”.
Dmitry Mazepin has been specifically listed in anti-Russian sanctions, and one of the conditions of Nikita’s return remains that any potential sponsors cannot be “related to the activities of his father”.
Regardless, Nikita was happy with the court’s verdict, having recently even tried his luck at spinning tracks as a DJ.
“I am pleased with the court’s decision, which gives me hope for a return to international motorsport,” Mazepin said.
“I will do my best to catch up and look forward to returning to the cause to which I devoted most of my life.”
Hungary’s foreign affairs minister Peter Szijjarto urged other nations to also lift such sanctions of Russian athletes on the same day.
“We suffered under the communist regime,” Szijjarto said.
“We know what it was like when children are held responsible for what their parents did or didn’t do.
“My question is: why are we putting a Formula 1 driver on the sanctions list because of suspicions about his father’s connections with the Russian government?”