Nikita Mazepin was dropped by Haas ahead of the new season following the events in Ukraine
Nikita Mazepin will not be on the F1 grid this season. © Hasan Bratic / picture alliance via Getty Images
Red Bull king Max Verstappen says there must be some “sympathy” for Nikita Mazepin after the Russian racer was sacked by his team Haas because of the conflict in Ukraine.
The new Formula 1 season gets underway in Bahrain this week but Mazepin will not be among the drivers lining up on the grid after Haas announced they were canceling the 23-year-old’s contract.
The American team also dropped its sponsorship deal with Russian fertilizer giant Uralkali, which is part-owned by Mazepin’s businessman father Dmitry.
Motor racing governing body the FIA had cleared Russian drivers to compete under neutral status for the upcoming season, although the UK racing authorities said they would ban Russian and Belarusian competitors from any events in the country.