The American racing team Gene Haas has removed the sponsor inscriptions of the Russian sponsor Uralkali from the car. Muscovite Nikita Mazepin’s days may be numbered.
What’s happening in Haas now? Team owner Gene Haas and team boss Gunther Steiner want to report that next week, South Tyrol Steiner confirmed on a media tour on February 25. “You saw that we removed the Uralcalli logos because we wanted to make an impression. Now we have to decide how all this will go – with the sponsor, and also with Nikita Mazepin. Because we also have to take a closer look at the legal side.”
“Of course, Mazepin is worried. As far as his future in the team is concerned, nothing is guaranteed in Formula 1, including him. Like I said, we all have to take our time to look into it now.”
Haas can also survive without the sponsorship of the millions from fertilizer manufacturer Uralkali, as Günther Steiner assures: “We are financially well positioned to get through this season.”
Nikita Mazepin was supposed to attend the official FIA Drivers’ Conference on February 25 at 1.35pm. Three hours before that, it was announced: He will not be on the tour.
Hours later, Muscovites spoke on his social networks: “To my fans and followers – these are tough times and I don’t have control over what is said or done. I want to focus on what I can control myself; by working hard and doing my best for Team Haas.” Sincere thanks for your understanding and support.”
There has long been speculation about who could replace Mazepin. Oscar Piastre will impose himself. The talented Australian has won three titles (Formula Renault, Formula 3 and Formula 2) in the past three years.
But Haas team principal Gunther Steiner says: “The first option, if Nikita can’t drive, is our reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi.” He drove as a replacement for the injured Romain Grosjean in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in 2020 and finished 19th and 17th.
Nikita Mazepin’s F1 career is coming to an end. As a Russian, he requires visas in many countries, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has made it difficult for Russian citizens to move around the world.
Rarely in recent years have I encountered a driver who climbed into the first class with so much weight.
His father, billionaire Dmitriy Mazepin, organized private F1 tests for his offspring with a 2017 Mercedes-Benz at different racetracks. The Haas racer looked like the national car of the Russian state in 2021/2022 with the Uralkali design.
Critics have complained about Mazepine’s sloping manners. At best, we could call it moody or fiery, others prefer to use words like disorderly, unexpected or sneaky, and Mick Schumacher felt that too. Mazepin’s driving style has never inspired confidence, not in Formula 3, not in Formula 2, not in Formula 1.
Mazbin is accused of absenteeism from military service, which is not true. Instead, Nikita completed a three-year training on chipsets in the so-called military department.
And then, of course, there was a well-documented case of contact, when the Moscow native offended himself by posting a video of him clutching the chest of Venezuelan model Andrea Deval. This created a storm of indignation.
Mazepin apologized for this slip. On the other hand, the Moscow native said about his behavior on the slopes: “If you are no longer ready to dive into a gap, you are not a racer.”
Regarding drivers’ paying etiquette, Nikita said: “You need a lot of skills and requirements to make it into Formula 1. I’m not the first driver to get financial assistance and I won’t be the last.”
Barcelona Test, February 25
1. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes W13, 1:19.138 min (93 laps)
2. George Russell (GB), Mercedes W13, 1:19.233 min (66)
3. Sergio Perez (Mexico), Red Bull Racing RB18-Red Bull, 1: 19,556 min (73)
4. Max Verstappen (Netherlands), Red Bull Racing RB18 – Red Bull, 1:19.756 (59)
5. Sebastian Vettel (D), Aston Martin AMR22-Mercedes, 1:19.824 (48)
6. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari F1-75, 1:19.831 (44)
7. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari F1-75, 1: 20.072 (91)
8. Alex Albon (T) Williams FW44 – Mercedes 1: 20.318 (94)
9. Nicholas Latifi (CDN), Williams FW44-Mercedes, 1:20.699 (13)
10- Daniel Ricciardo (Australia), McLaren MCL36-Mercedes, 1:20.790 (85)
11. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren MCL36-Mercedes, 1:20.827 (52)
12. Fernando Alonso (small), Alpine A522-Renault, 1: 21.242 (12)
13. Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Alfa Romeo C42-Ferrari, 1: 21.939 (41)
14. Pierre Gasly (midfield) AlphaTauri AT03-Red Bull 1: 22.469 (40)
15- Nikita Mazepin (Russia), Haas VF-22 Ferrari, 1: 26.229 (9).
16. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Alfa Romeo C42-Ferrari, 1:30.433 (10)
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