The Haas Formula 1 team has terminated the contract of Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and his title sponsor, Russian chemical giant Uralkali, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the team announced on Saturday.
“Haas F1 Team has elected to terminate, with immediate effect, Uralkali’s title partnership and Nikita Mazepin’s driver contract,” the team said in a statement. “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.”
A replacement driver is expected to be named next week.
Tuesday, the FIA said that Russian and Belarusian drivers could continue to race, but only under a neutral “FIA flag” and without displaying any Russian/Belarusian symbol, color or national flag on their uniform, equipment and car “until further notice”. This rule also extends to individual competitors and officials.
Mazepin tweeted that he was “very disappointed” that his contract had been terminated.
While I understand the difficulties, the decision of the FIA as well as my continued willingness to accept the proposed conditions to continue was completely ignored and no process was followed in this unilateral step,” he said.
“To those who 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 coming days. “
CNN has reached out to the Haas team for comment.
Formula One terminated his contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter on Thursday, meaning Russia won’t have a future race.
The 2022 Formula 1 season kicks off on March 20 in Bahrain.
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