Formula 1 team Haas has announced that it has dropped Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and terminated its contract with title sponsor Uralkali due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Haas F1 Team has elected to terminate, with immediate effect, Uralkali’s title partnership and Nikita Mazepin’s driver contract,” a statement read.
“Like the rest of the Formula 1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes a speedy and peaceful end to the conflict.”
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Uralkali, a potash group, has Mazepin’s father, Dmitry Mazepin, as a non-executive director.
Haas dropped the Uralkali brand from its cars on the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona last Friday and team principal Guenther Steiner said at the time that they were “financially ok “.
Mazepin, 23, raced just one season with Haas but failed to register a championship point.
“Dear fans and followers, I am very disappointed to learn that my F1 contract has been terminated,” Mazepin said after his termination was announced.
“While I understand the difficulties, the decision of the FlA as well as my continued willingness to accept the proposed terms to continue were completely ignored and no process was followed in this unilateral step.
“To those who have tried to understand, my eternal thanks. I have cherished my time in F1 and sincerely hope we can all be together again in better times. I will have more to say in the days to come. Nikita.
Haas’ decision follows Formula One championship promoters announcing on Thursday that they were terminating a contract with the organizers of the Russian Grand Prix.
The Black Sea resort of Sochi has hosted the race since the first race in 2014, but St. Petersburg was due to replace it as the venue in 2023.
“Formula 1 can confirm that it has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter, which means that Russia will not have a race in the future,” Formula 1 said in a statement.