The Russian driver was let go by the Haas team on the eve of the season following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Haas felt it was untenable to continue with him and his backers, so he also ended his title sponsorship deal with the Uralkali company run by Mazepin’s father, Dmitry.
Immediately after separation from sponsorship, Uralkali demanded that Haas return payments for the 2022 season which he had done in advance since the case was not proceeding.
However, Haas responded and made it clear that he would not repay the $13 million – and further demanded additional compensation of $8.6 million for loss of earnings.
The severance of relations with Haas makes a reunion unlikely in the future, but that hasn’t stopped Mazepin from hoping he can find his way back to F1.
However, before saying he can consider his options for the future, he feels questions need to be asked about how teams are allowed to behave.
Speaking to CNN Quest equals business programme, Mazepin played down any suggestion that his political neutrality on the Russian war would be held against him in a potential return to F1.
“Everyone has the right to speak or not to speak and the FIA, the highest governing body, allowed me to compete as long as I am neutral,” he said.
“But I would say the biggest issue here is going back to the sport where teams are allowed to keep sponsors’ money without fulfilling the contract. And even asking for more, even if they say they don’t want to. money from Russia, so I’m not sure, but the sporting values must be assessed for me after that.
Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-22
Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport pictures
Mazepin feels he has more to give in F1, his rookie season in 2021 coinciding with Haas struggling with an uncompetitive car.
Asked about his prospects of finding a Grand Prix place in the future, Mazepin said: “It’s hard to say at the moment because I’m very suspicious because my problem is that I lost a job.
“I was trying to get into F1 for 17 years and then I finally got there. But it’s a very minor issue if you compare it to the big things happening in the world right now.
“Of course I would love to come back to the sport. I feel like I have a lot of unfinished business there. But I have to wait for things to calm down. And I don’t even know who I can answer to because that, you know, Haas obviously did what he did by not playing the cleanest game, in my opinion. But that’s different for me.
While Mazepin has been reluctant to comment on his views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he admits the situation is “painful” for him to watch.
“My view is that whatever is going on right now, and I can only see a tiny bit from where I am in Moscow, it is very painful,” he explained. . “And I definitely feel it.
“I have lived for 23 years and I lived in a very calm world. But regarding my official position, I have said many times that it is very important to be neutral for me, because I am an athlete. And I think it’s important to be able to be neutral. Even for that, I have created a foundation that will help athletes stay neutral in principle.
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