Former Formula One driver, Nikita Mazepin, is battling against sanctions imposed by the British government in a bid to revive his racing career. Following the invasion of Ukraine, Mazepin and his father, Dmitry Mazepin, were both sanctioned by Britain, Canada, and the European Union. Despite being dropped by his team Haas last March, the 24-year-old is now seeking to overturn the British sanctions, with hopes of returning to the sport in 2024.
The sanctions have included an asset freeze and travel ban, which Mazepin’s lawyers have argued is preventing him from negotiating with teams. His lawyer, Rachel Scott, has urged for the challenge to be heard as a matter of “urgency” due to the need to build relationships with team staff.
Mazepin has also been challenging EU and Canadian sanctions, as their lifting would increase his chances of returning to Formula One. He stated that “even if — or while — the Canadian sanctions remain in place, there is at least a prospect of me being able to enter into negotiations to return to Formula One if sanctions are lifted in both the EU and UK.”
However, lawyers representing Britain’s Foreign Office have countered, stating that Mazepin could still negotiate with F1 teams while sanctions are in place. Nevertheless, another hearing is expected to take place in June to decide on whether the sanctions can be temporarily lifted while Mazepin’s full challenge is heard in July.
It remains to be seen whether Mazepin’s attempts to return to Formula One will be successful, with his reputation possibly being affected by his father’s actions. Haas‘ decision to drop him last year was reportedly influenced by the backlash following Dmitry Mazepin’s controversial comments about a female employee. Regardless, the young driver is determined to resurrect his racing career and prove himself as a talent on the track.