Mazepin takes Canada to court in F1 2024 return bid
Nikita Mazepin is taking the Canadian government to court in a bid to overturn sanctions against him to allow for a potential 2024 Formula 1 return.
Mazepin last raced for Haas in 2021, but was dropped during 2022 pre-season after Russia invaded Ukraine, with sanctions on Russian sportspeople introduced by various sport governing bodies.
In addition, both Mazepin and his father Dmitry were placed on EU sanctions lists as having close links to Russian president Vladimir Putin – with Dmitry Mazepin pictured at a meeting of oligarchs and other business people in a Kremlin meeting on the day Putin launched the invasion in February 2022.
With a temporary relief granted against the EU sanctions, Mazepin is taking the Canadian government and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly to Federal Court in order to remove him from the sanctions list in that country.
Mazepin’s court case
Mazepin – whose best finish in F1 was 14th in the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix – claims that the sanctions against him “catastrophically reduces” his chances of a potential return for 2024 as he could not race in the Grand Prix – held in Montreal.
His notice of application filed to the court says that he is a “young sportsman and professional motorsport driver who is in no way involved in the aggression suffered by Ukraine.”
He also claims that if he does not find a seat for 2024, it would be “impossible” for him to ever make a return to Grand Prix racing – although it is extremely unlikely that any team would look to hire Mazepin who proved off the pace and accident-prone in his sole season.
In December 2022, Joly missed a 90-day deadline to respond to an initial request for Mazepin to be removed from the sanctions list, who has also failed to provide him with so-called ‘natural justice’ in giving him a chance to put his own case forward.
Mazepin has requested that Joly make a decision on his application for removal – and inform him within five days of the decision.