The Haas racing team took the consequences after the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and not only parted ways with its driver Nikita Masepin, but also with the Russian sponsor Uralkali. The Formula 1 team announced this on Saturday. A new driver has not yet been named. Allegedly, however, the American-Brazilian reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will replace Masepin from Moscow. Like his previous German teammate Mick Schumacher, Masepin contested his first Formula 1 season in 2021.
Haas team boss Günther Steiner left open the future of Masepin as a driver and of financier Uralkali as a financier last week after the Russian attack on Ukraine. Nikita Masepin’s father Dmitri is a co-owner of the Russian mining company. “We have terminated the cooperation with Uralkali and our driver Nikita Masepin with immediate effect. The team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a speedy and peaceful end to the conflict,” the team said via Twitter.
However, his son would only have been allowed to compete in Formula 1 this season as a neutral athlete under the flag of the world motorsport association FIA. In addition, Masepin (23) should have signed a code of conduct. This includes, among other things, a clear distancing from Russia’s actions.
Formula 1 had previously canceled the Russian Grand Prix this year. In addition, the location was completely removed from the race calendar. The first Grand Prix of 2022 will take place in Bahrain on March 20th.