Mazepin blames Haas sacking on 'cancel culture' against Russians

By Sports Desk April 07, 2022

Nikita Mazepin has said he and his fellow Russian athletes are victims of "cancel culture" after losing his job with Formula One team Haas amid the Ukraine crisis.

The 23-year-old was dismissed by the US-based team ahead of the 2022 season after both he and his father, Dimitry Mazepin, were sanctioned by the European Union.

Numerous other sports have also moved to ban Russian athletes and teams in wake of the country's invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

However, exiled F1 driver Mazepin does not believe it is fair that Russians have been targeted as he reiterated his intention to overturn the sanctions.

"I don't agree with being in the sanctions," Mazepin told BBC's Hardtalk programme. "I've said previously that I intend to fight it.

"Perhaps now is not the right time because if you look at the whole situation that's happening against athletes in the general case, it's cancel culture against my country."

Mazepin's father Dmitry has close ties to Vladimir Putin, holding face-to-face business talks with the Russian president as recently as January. 

Dmitry Mazepin is deputy chairman of Uralkali, the potash producer that has been a major financial backer of Haas.

As well as ousting Mazepin, Haas announced last month that the commercial link with Uralkali has also been scrapped with immediate effect.

The Russian Grand Prix for 2022 has also been cancelled, with F1 announcing it has terminated its deal for future races in the country.

Despite his father's links with Putin, Nikita Mazepin insisted his only connection to the president "is through the sport that I do".

Asked for his thoughts on the ongoing events across Ukraine, Mazepin added: "It's very painful to watch that on many levels.

"My feeling obviously changed as a human being and as a person who wants to live in a very peaceful world.

"But I see tremendous risks in saying anything at all about this case because I will never satisfy everyone and therefore I will keep myself publicly quiet."

Mazepin finished last in the drivers' standings in 2021 after failing to score a point.

Related items

  • Wolff: This  season like Groundhog Day for Mercedes Wolff: This season like Groundhog Day for Mercedes

    Toto Wolff says it has been like "Groundhog Day" for Mercedes during a difficult 2022 Formula One season.

    The Silver Arrows' run of eight consecutive constructors' titles appears to be coming to an end as they are third in the standings behind Red Bull and Ferrari.

    Mercedes have not won a race this year, with George Russell fourth in the driver standings and Lewis Hamilton back in sixth.

    Having dominated the sport so long, the Brackley-based team have struggled to adapt following the introduction of new technical regulations.

    Mercedes team principal Wolff says it has been a rough ride this season.

    "The truth is, it's just so painful and it's so difficult to live by your values and your doubt," Wolff told Autosport.

    "You oscillate from depression to exuberance, and then the next day the other way around. And in a way that when you kind of think nothing that you do works, [it is] a bit of Groundhog Day. 

    "Then you make steps forward by looking at things and finding out they don't function at all, and then you know what doesn't go, and you go the other way and it functions. 

    "All the things I've preached, all the things that you read in books that it's so hard, that it is so important to lose in order to thrive. It's just lived in real life so far."

    The F1 season resumes with the Belgian Grand Prix next week following a break.

  • FIA approves F1 regulations on porpoising and 2026 power units FIA approves F1 regulations on porpoising and 2026 power units

    The FIA World Motorsport Council has approved power unit regulations set to come into effect from the 2026 season, as part of a number of announcements made on Tuesday.

    Key points from the new regulations are an increase in electrical power and the use of 100 per cent sustainable fuels, a key step in F1's plan to become carbon neutral by 2030.

    F1 also stated that the regulations will be 'attractive' to new power unit manufacturers, with the Volkswagen Group already having confirmed that Porsche and Audi will be coming to the grid in the coming years.

    While Porsche is set to partner with an existing team, widely expected to be Red Bull, Audi will bring the brand to the field and could take over from a current team – though there have been some pushes for the number of teams on the grid to be increased from 10.

    Elsewhere, the WMSC also approved technical regulation changes for 2022 and 2023 – including the controversial directive regarding a counter to the 'porpoising' that has plagued several teams this season.

    Red Bull and Alpine had opposed such proposals but it has been announced that, from the resumption of the season in Belgium later this month,' there will be changes to redefine the stiffness requirements of the plank and skids around the thickness measurement holes on the cars'.

    From 2023, the floor edges will be raised by 15mm, the diffuser will be raised and stiffness increased, while an additional sensor will be mandated to monitor the porpoising phenomenon more effectively.

    After Zhou Guanyu's horror crash at the start of the 2022 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, changes were made to the safety standards surrounding roll hoops on F1 cars, including a rounded top, with further regulations planned for 2024 to ensure future cars can resist more significant loads.

  • Sara Misir scores maximum points at Dover on Sunday despite late car switch Sara Misir scores maximum points at Dover on Sunday despite late car switch

    Sara Misir, the Caribbean’s first Formula Woman finalist, overcame a late car switch on Saturday to win all three races in the Modified Production 3 Class at the Dover Raceway in St. Ann on Sunday.

    Misir’s car caught fire during testing on Saturday.

    “I had a scare before race day on Saturday where my engine caught fire, so I had to switch cars at the last minute,” Misir explained.

    Despite the setback, she qualified in pole position and then scored maximum points in all three races in her class. The victories which mirrored her performance at Dover in July represented fulfilment for the trailblazing driver.

    “I always look forward to competing at Dover and, for me, it’s about testing my speed and seeing how much I have improved each time I race,” Misir said.

    “I’m happy for the wins on Sunday despite the setback on Saturday.”

    Winning her second hat-trick of races in consecutive meets at Dover is a testament to her continuing growth as a race car driver.  Her coach and father, Rugie Misir, explained that the maturity from racing in the United Kingdom has been evident in her performances at Dover this year.

    “For the first time, I see her driving to the capacity of the car and her confidence is high. She’s more focused and more mature and it shows in her performance over the last two meets,” said Misir who is also president of the Jamaica Go Karting Association.

    He also explained what went wrong with his daughter’s car during testing on Saturday.

    “Her car had a damaged rod in the master cylinder on Saturday which overheated the rotor and set the brake ducts on fire,” he said.

    “It was minimally damaged but rendered unusable for this meet, so we reverted to the BMW which is slower by five seconds over each lap,” he added.

     

     

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.