Mazepin's Haas claim hits the rocks as UK sanctions Nikita and his father


Nikita Mazepin and his father Dmitry have been sanctioned by the British government, banning the ex-Haas F1 driver and his father from travelling to the country and freezing any of their UK assets

Nikita Mazepin

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Former Haas F1 driver Nikita Mazepin has been added to the UK government’s sanctions list, along with his father Dmitry whose Kremlin links now see the pair banned from travelling to Britain or Europe.

The restrictions follow similar EU action last week and impose an asset freeze on the pair, which is likely to halt their financial claim against Haas.

Dmitry Mazepin controls the Russian fertiliser company Uralkali, which sponsored Haas until a week ago when it was dropped, along with Nikita, as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nikita complained that he was fired without any notice and had been willing to race under a neutral flag, as required by the sport’s governing body, the FIA.

Uralkali also released a statement, demanding a refund of the “significant” sponsorship monies that it had paid for 2022, claiming that most of the funds had already been paid and threatening legal action if Haas didn’t comply.

But today’s announcement of sanctions against the Mazepins appears to prevent the British-based team from repaying any money to Uralkali because Dmitry controls the company.

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Government guidelines on dealing with sanctioned individuals states that British firms “must refrain from dealing with the funds or assets or making them available (directly or indirectly) to such persons unless licensed by the office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.”

Dmitry Mazepin had already transferred his majority shareholding in Formula 2 and Formula 3 team Hitech before the government measures were announced.

It is likely that Haas has already spent much of Uralkali’s sponsorship money in developing this year’s Formula 1 car. Team boss Guenther Steiner refused to discuss the funding at last week’s Bahrain test.

“My stance on it is, should there’ll be an issue, I think there’s a legal process in place to sort this out,” he said.

Last week the EU announced its decision to sanction Dmitry Mazepin as a result of his close links with Vladimir Putin, which included meeting the Russian president on the day that Russia invaded Ukraine.

This shows that he is “a member of the closest circle of Vladimir Putin and that he is supporting or implementing actions that threaten Ukraine,” according to the EU ruling.

Nikita was also named on the EU list because of his Uralkali sponsorship and his close association with his father.

The British government used the EU’s rationale to justify its own sanctions. Even without the sanctions, Mazepin is likely to have been prevented from racing at the British Grand Prix after the national governing body, Motorsport UK banned Russian-licensed drivers from entering its events.