Nikita Mazepin has announced he is suing Haas over "salary arrears" that he says are owed for the 2022 season.

The Russian driver was axed by Haas on the eve of the new Formula One season following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which also saw F1 cancel the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

Haas cancelled their title sponsor deal with Russian fertilizer company Uralkali, owned by Nikita's father Dmitry, and replaced Mazepin with Kevin Magnussen for the 2022 season.

Mazepin's relationship with Haas has soured since his contract was terminated in March, with the driver claiming his wish to continue racing by accepting the FIA's regulations for Russian drivers was ignored.

He has alleged he only found out about the termination via Haas' press release and is now set to take the team to court – though he made it clear this would be a "personal matter" and not related to Uralkali, who are reportedly seeking reimbursement themselves.

"When the contract was terminated, Haas had a salary arrears to me for 2022. And they still haven’t paid it," he told RBC.

"I’m only talking about the fact that contractual obligations were not fulfilled.

"You also need to understand that we had two independent contracts. And breaking the agreement with the title sponsor did not have a direct impact on my future in the team.

"So they [Haas] made two separate decisions. I didn't see my money, so we're going to court."

Ferrari's recent issues with reliability have put a major dent in their driver's and constructor's title hopes, but they will need to quickly bounce back at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.

It was a painful day for the Scuderia at the Azerbaijan GP on Sunday, with both cars retiring due to technical issues.

For Charles Leclerc, it was the second time in three races he was forced out because of a power unit problem while leading, and the fourth consecutive race where he failed to convert pole position into a race win.

Sergio Perez took full advantage in Baku, moving ahead of Leclerc in the driver's standings with his win, with Max Verstappen opening up a 34-point gap to the Ferrari driver.

With two retirements sandwiching Ferrari's strategic blunder at his home race in Monaco, the Monegasque moves to four wins from 15 pole positions, with only Jarno Trulli holding a lower conversion rate (25 per cent) among winning drivers in the history F1.

Meanwhile, only Michael Schumacher (+23) and Alain Prost (+18) have a higher differential between race wins and pole positions than Max Verstappen, who has claimed 25 and 14 respectively.

Verstappen will already be making his 150th GP appearance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, looking for his sixth win of the season out of nine starts.

It would provide little solace to the 24-year-old but he has been in supreme form on the Saturday, claiming six poles out of eight this season, and could match his highest tally in a single season from 2019.

Pole position is not essential but it has proved to be convenient in recent years, with each of the past five winners in Montreal coming from the front of grid on the Saturday, the longest such streak in F1.

Since the opening race of the season in Bahrain, Ferrari remain one more one-two finish away from surpassing Mercedes for the most all-time in F1, with both on 82.

Ferrari customers facing similar strife

Problems have persisted for the factory team and Ferrari power unit customers since the first upgrade at the Miami Grand Prix, where Zhou Guanyu retired.

Both he and Leclerc then retired from the Spanish GP, after Valtteri Bottas was forced out of FP2 in the other Alfa Romeo due to an engine failure.

Both Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen experienced MGU-K failures in Monaco, before Leclerc, Magnussen and Zhou had power unit-related DNFs in Baku.

Red Bull in control

After rectifying their own reliability issues at the start of the season, Red Bull have picked up the pieces and are now in control of both championships.

Red Bull drivers have finished on the podium in 11 of their 13 finished races, securing the one-two in three of the last five Grands Prix and are one more from securing the highest tally in a single season.

The last time the team had six wins in the opening eight races of the season was when Sebastian Vettel coasted his way to the driver's title in 2011.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 150
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 129
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 116
4. George Russell (Mercedes) 99
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 83

Constructors

1. Red Bull 279
2. Ferrari 199
3. Mercedes 161
4. McLaren 65
5. Alpine 47

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.

Mick Schumacher will not contest the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following his terrifying crash during qualifying on Saturday. 

Haas driver Schumacher hit the concrete barrier at Turn 12 at 170mph during Q2, resulting in a red flag that halted the session for almost an hour. 

The 23-year-old was removed from the car and deemed to have no injuries following an assessment at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit's medical centre, though he was transferred to King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital for precautionary checks. 

Haas later confirmed Schumacher would not take part in the race on Sunday and the team would only run Kevin Magnussen's car. 

"Hi everyone, I just wanted to say that I'm ok," Schumacher posted on Twitter.

"Thank you for the kind messages. The car felt great ... we'll come back stronger."

Team principal Gunther Steiner said: "The best thing is that Mick has apparently no injuries. He's in the hospital right now and being evaluated by the doctors, so he is in good hands at the moment. 

"There is a possibility that he'll have to stay for observation overnight at the hospital. Based on these facts and where we are, we have decided not to field his car tomorrow." 

Magnussen will start in 10th after reaching Q3 for the second successive race. 

Sergio Perez brought an end to his long wait for a first Formula One pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, cutting short Ferrari's early-season dominance.

The Scuderia had looked set to continue their outstanding form, potentially locking out the front row in a hectic qualifying session that was delayed for an extended period following a terrifying crash for Mick Schumacher, son of former Ferrari superstar Michael.

Schumacher hit the concrete barrier at Turn 12 at 170mph, although he showed no signs of injury when he was eventually pulled from his Haas, heading to hospital for precautionary scans.

That incident came in the middle of Q2, with Lewis Hamilton having sensationally bowed out in Q1, leaving Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to battle with Red Bull duo Perez and Max Verstappen.

Defending champion Verstappen struggled to stay in touch, and it had appeared as though Sainz might be the man celebrating a first pole when he set the benchmark in Q3.

But he was passed by team-mate Leclerc and then Perez in his 220th grand prix, marking the longest wait for a driver before qualifying fastest, with ex-Red Bull man Marc Webber (131) the previous record-holder.

With Sunday marking 11 years to the day since Perez's first entry, he said: "It took me a couple of races, no?

"What a lap, unbelievable. I could do 1,000 laps and I don't think I could beat that one. It was unbelievable.

"We were not expecting too much from qualifying, we were focusing mainly for the race, so hopefully we get [the win] tomorrow."

Earlier, there had also been a red flag in Q1 following a crash involving Nicholas Latifi, after which Hamilton could not recover from a slow start.

His third time was his fastest but enough only for P15, where he soon fell below Lance Stroll to bow out in Q1 for the first time since the 2017 Brazilian GP and the first time on pure pace since the 2009 British GP.

Mercedes struggled to explain the result, as George Russell ran fourth fastest in that initial session, and Hamilton would not use the distraction a day earlier – when practice was halted due to a missile attack near the track – as an excuse.

"I just struggled with the balance of the car," Hamilton told Sky Sports. "It's not where we want to be."

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 1:28.200
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0.025s
3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +0.202s
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.261s
5. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +0.868s
6. George Russell (Mercedes) +0.904s
7. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +0.947s
8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) +0.983s
9. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +1.054s
10. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +1.388s

Formula One team principals have explained how they were reassured of their safety in extensive talks following a missile attack near the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The attack on an oil depot prompted an explosion that delayed FP2 in Jeddah on Friday.

F1 confirmed later on Friday and again early on Saturday the race would be going ahead, having met with the teams and heard their concerns before Saudi government authorities and security agencies offered "full and detailed assurances that the event is secure".

Facing the media ahead of FP3, team principals elaborated on these discussions, with Haas chief Gunther Steiner revealing: "For me, the assurance is if the authorities have got their own families here and they feel safe, I can be safe as well.

"They explained very credibly what [system] is in place. The technical details I am not in a position to explain that, because I'm not qualified enough. But there is stuff in place, which protects us, obviously. I'm not trained in that one.

"The credible explanation of what they do, and that their families are here with them, that gives me the assurance that I'm safe and that my team is safe."

Aston Martin's Mike Krack added: "We had quite a few high ranked authorities yesterday, and they explained to us the situation, they explained it to us in a very credible way.

"This made all of the 10 of us that were in the room confident that they take their responsibility very seriously."

Andreas Seidl of McLaren said: "In the end, we need to trust F1, and the authorities here, put safety always first for every single member of the paddock here.

"I have full trust that this is happening."

Kevin Magnussen has returned to Formula One after signing a multi-year deal with Haas for 2022, replacing outgoing Russian driver Nikita Mazepin.

The American-owned team parted ways with Mazepin ahead of the season following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Magnussen is back in F1 having left Haas at the end of the 2020 season after four years with the team. He has also previously driven for McLaren and Renault.

The Dane has since participated in sportscars and IndyCar in the United States, and had been about to join Peugeot's World Endurance Championship squad before the call came to return to Haas.

Magnussen joins up with the team's other driver, Mick Schumacher, son of German great Michael Schumacher.

Mazepin spoke to the media on Wednesday, four days after his sacking was announced by Haas, and he described that ousting as "an injustice".

His 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 fertiliser producer that has been a major financial backer of Haas.

Haas also cut the sponsorship link with Uralkali with immediate effect, leading to a demand on Wednesday from the Russian firm for reimbursement of funds it had invested ahead of the new season.

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

Dumped driver Nikita Mazepin claims to have received messages of support from at least four fellow drivers, but the Russian said former Haas team-mate Mick Schumacher was not among them.

Mazepin spoke to the media on Wednesday, four days after his sacking was announced by American-owned team Haas, and he described that ousting as "an injustice".

Russia's invasion of Ukraine, rather than his results on the track, is what has cost the 23-year-old his seat for 2022.

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 fertiliser producer that has been a major financial backer of Haas.

As well as ousting Mazepin, Haas cut the sponsorship link with Uralkali with immediate effect, leading to a demand on Wednesday from the Russian firm for reimbursement of funds it had invested ahead of the new season.

Mazepin is smarting over his treatment by Haas and, according to L'Equipe, he said: "I had no message from Gunther Steiner, the team boss, and nothing from Mick Schumacher either. It is in these moments that we measure what people really are.

"I have always trusted Gunther 100 per cent and, after what has just happened, understand that at 23 I was not ready to experience such a disappointment.

"I don't want to speak in front of you about Haas and the men of the team, when they are not there. I will tell them what I think directly if I have the opportunity to meet them again."

Asked who had sent him messages, Mazepin said: "Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas, George Russell and Charles Leclerc. I appreciated it.

"Simple messages telling me to keep my head up, that they shared my pain, because they know the sacrifices you have to make to get to F1."

On social media, Mazepin declared he would be setting up a foundation "to help athletes who have been blocked from competing for political reasons". That statement faced swift ridicule from Twitter users.

Mazepin's F1 career may be over after only one season, with no guarantee he will find another drive in future.

After governing body the FIA gave Russian drivers permission to compete under a neutral flag, Mazepin was hopeful he could be able to race in 2022, before Haas decided to cut ties.

"I will abstain from any political commentary but, personally, I see my eviction as an injustice," he said. "Especially after the FIA ​​indicated that Russian drivers could race under a neutral banner. Exactly like tennis players under the ATP umbrella."

Haas will miss the start of Formula One pre-season testing in Bahrain due to the late arrival of their freight.

The plane that was due to transport the team's cargo from the United Kingdom was reportedly grounded by technical problems.

Although the freight arrived in Bahrain on Tuesday evening, that left the team short of time to be ready for the beginning of testing on Thursday.

Haas said they plan to have the car ready to be out on track later in the day.

"The team's freight arrived late last night to the circuit in Bahrain," a Haas statement said.

"This delay will impact our programme, but we are targeting being out on track for the second session Thursday afternoon with Pietro Fittipaldi driving the VF-22."

The disruption comes after Haas cancelled the contract of Russian driver Nikita Mazepin amid the war in Ukraine and also terminated their commercial partnership with Uralkali.

Uralkali, a Russian fertiliser producer, on Wednesday stated it will request an immediate reimbursement of sponsorship payments it has made for the 2022 season. The company described Haas' decision as "unreasonable", adding that sport "should always be free of politics and pressure from external factors".

Haas are yet to announce who Mick Schumacher's team-mate will be, just over a week before the first race of the year in Bahrain. Fittipaldi is their test and reserve driver.

Nikita Mazepin said he was "very disappointed" after Haas sacked him from their driver line-up and cut lucrative ties with Russian backer Uralkali.

Russian racer Mazepin was consistently a backmarker during the 2021 season, his first year on the F1 grid, and was frequently outperformed by team-mate Mick Schumacher.

It has been Russia's invasion of Ukraine that has cost him his seat for 2022, however, rather than his results on the track.

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 23-year-old Mazepin, Haas announced the commercial link with Uralkali has also been scrapped with immediate effect.

Haas removed the Uralkali logos from their cars for the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona last month, in keeping with wider efforts to impose sporting sanctions on Russia.

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

Mazepin responded to news of his dismissal by Haas on Saturday, stating: "I am very disappointed to hear that my F1 contract has been terminated.

"While I understand the difficulties, the ruling from FIA plus my ongoing willingness to accept the conditions proposed in order to continue were completely ignored and no process was followed in this unilateral step."

He did not clarify further on those points, but said he would elaborate on his statement "in the coming days".

"To those who have tried to understand, my eternal thanks," Mazepin added. "I have treasured my time in F1 and genuinely hope we can all be together again in better times."

Before Haas announced their decision, it had already been revealed that Mazepin would be banned from competing at the British Grand Prix.

Formula One team Haas have cancelled the contract of Russian driver Nikita Mazepin amid the Ukraine crisis.

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 23-year-old Mazepin, who was the only Russian with an F1 drive for the 2022 season, the commercial tie-up with Uralkali has also been scrapped.

It comes as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues. Thousands have reportedly been killed since the start of the attack on February 24, including many civilians.

Haas said in a statement on Saturday: "Haas F1 team has elected to terminate, with immediate effect, the title partnership of Uralkali, and the driver contract of Nikita Mazepin.

"As with the rest of the Formula 1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict."

Haas removed the Uralkali logos from its cars for the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona last month.

The team's other driver is Mick Schumacher, son of German great Michael Schumacher. Haas have yet to announce who will replace Mazepin in the new season, which gets under way in Bahrain in two weeks' time.

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

Russian driver Nikita Mazepin will be barred from competing for Haas at the British Grand Prix following measures introduced by Britain's national motorsport authority in response to the situation in Ukraine.

The FIA confirmed on Tuesday that Russian and Belarusian drivers would be allowed to compete in Formula One this season under a neutral flag.

However, Motorsport UK will not allow drivers, teams or officials from those nations to take part at Silverstone in early July, meaning Mazepin will miss out. The ban spans across all motorsports in the United Kingdom.

Motorsport UK chair David Richards, in accordance with the board of the organisation, made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday, a week on from Russia's initial invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

"The entire Motorsport UK community condemns the acts of war by Russia and Belarus in Ukraine and expresses its solidarity and support towards all those affected by the ongoing conflict," Richards said.

"We stand united with the people of Ukraine and the motorsport community following the invasion and the unacceptable actions that have unfolded. 

"This is a time for the international motorsport community to act and show support for the people of Ukraine and our colleagues at the Federation Automobile d'Ukraine (FAU)."

Motorsport UK says the decision was "taken in full consultation with the UK government and national sports governing bodies to ensure that there is a unilateral response to the crisis".

Richards added: "It is our duty to use whatever influence and leverage we might have to bring this wholly unjustified invasion of Ukraine to a halt. 

"We would encourage the motorsport community and our colleagues around the world to fully embrace the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee and do whatever we can to end this war.

"Motorsport UK stands united with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the President of the FAU, the Ukrainian motorsport community and the Ukrainian people and calls for the violence to end with a peaceful resolution."

Mazepin is the only Russian driver on the F1 grid, with the 22-year-old due to start his second season in Bahrain later this month.

He finished bottom of the drivers' standings in 2021 and his future with Haas was already in doubt prior to Wednesday's announcement, with just three weeks to go until the 2022 season begins.

The Russian Grand Prix, which was due to take place in September, has already been cancelled by F1 chiefs, with the FIA describing that as a decision taken "for reason of force majeure".

Russian drivers have avoided being banned by motorsport's world governing body, meaning Haas driver Nikita Mazepin can compete for his Formula One team.

A range of measures was announced by the FIA on Tuesday, with teams representing Russia and close ally Belarus being suspended until further notice.

The conflict since the Russian-led invasion of Ukraine was addressed at an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC).

Drivers from Russia and Belarus will be barred from racing as representatives of their countries, but they will be allowed to compete as neutrals, providing they do not step out of line.

Mazepin is the only Russian driver on the F1 grid, with the 22-year-old due to start his second season in Bahrain later this month.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem told the meeting the FIA was observing events in Ukraine "with sadness and shock", adding that he hoped for "a swift and peaceful resolution". He also spoke of concern for the FIA's Ukrainian members and their current "intolerable hardship".

"We condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and our thoughts are with all those suffering as a result of the events in Ukraine," he added.

The FIA said none of its competitions should take place in Russia or Belarus until further notice, with flags or symbols of either country also banned for now, along with anthems and national colours.

Outlining its position on drivers, the FIA stated: "Russian/Belarusian drivers, individual competitors and officials to participate in international/zone competitions only in their neutral capacity and under the 'FIA flag', subject to specific commitment and adherence to the FIA's principles of peace and political neutrality, until further notice."

The Russian Grand Prix, which was due to take place in September, has already been cancelled by F1 chiefs, with the FIA describing that as a decision taken "for reason of force majeure".

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has called an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council to discuss a response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Ben Sulayem made the announcement on his social media page on Monday.

The council will meet on Tuesday "to discuss matters relating to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine", a Twitter post read.

The FIA was awarded full recognition status by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2013. The IOC has recommended Russian and Belarusian athletes be suspended from all sports.

In Formula One, such a ban would impact Haas driver Nikita Mazepin, the only Russian driver on the grid for 2022.

The Russian Grand Prix has already been removed from the F1 calendar in the coming season.

Haas driver Nikita Mazepin has been ruled out of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after testing positive for coronavirus.

The Russian, who qualified at the back of the grid on Saturday, will sit out the season-ending race after returning a positive result at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Mazepin had driven in all of the sessions ahead of Sunday's concluding race, meaning reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi is unable to step in.

Mick Schumacher will therefore be Haas' sole representative in the 19-driver race, with the German starting from 19th.

Formula One confirmed all of Mazepin's close contacts have been declared and there will be no wider impact on Sunday's highly anticipated race.

A Haas statement read: "Nikita is physically well, having been asymptomatic, but he will now self-isolate and adhere to the guidelines of the relevant public health authorities, with safety the ultimate priority for all parties concerned.

"Uralkali Haas F1 Team wish Nikita well, and we look forward to his return to the race track in early 2022 for pre-season testing."

Mazepin, who is one of only two regular drivers – alongside team-mate Schumacher – without a point to his name this season, added in a social media post: "Hi, everyone!  Sorry to report I've had a positive Covid test.  

"Feeling totally fine but won't be able to race today. Wishing all my fellow drivers a fantastic end to the season and sending thanks and love to everyone for their support."

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