Now, according to the court decision, if Mazepin is taken to some Formula 1 team or to another motorsport championship, the Russian will have to undertake the obligation to compete under a neutral flag.
The European Court allowed Nikita Mazepin to enter the territory of the European Union to negotiate and conclude contracts with any racing team or with sponsors. But sponsors should not be associated with his father, Dmitry Mazepin. Nikita Mazepin, according to a court decision, can become the main or reserve pilot of Formula 1 or other series held under the auspices of the International Automobile Federation. And not only.
While Mazepin remains sanctioned, lawyers say the decision entitles him to receive a salary in Europe if he pursues his professional activities. It remains only to find someone who is ready to pay him this salary. According to experts, the Russian racer previously got into Formula 1 rather thanks to his father’s sponsorship money. And Nikita did not show outstanding results in his only season in Formula 1. So there is no queue behind him – even without taking into account the trend towards the abolition of everything Russian.
However, the decision of the European Court for Mazepin Jr. is still good news, says Yevgeny Kustov, editor of the Motorsport section of the Championat.com sports portal:
“Permission is good, it opens up many roads for Nikita. But I doubt that in the short term these roads will lead him to Formula 1. Another thing is that now he can fully resume his career. There are a number of championships. He tried himself in the Asian Le Mans Series, which is endurance racing. But earlier there were questions: “How can he compete in the World Endurance Championship, where is the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans?” This is one of the logical paths for those who cannot compete in Formula 1. There were also questions: “How can he play in the Dakar, in some other championships?” He won the so-called Russian “Dakar” – “Silk Road”. But here is the world “Dakar”, it will be organized by the French. There was a question of how he could interact with him, given the sanctions. Now this question is gone, all roads are open for it. Finally, Nikita has almost no career restrictions.
Almost. It is not yet entirely clear whether this decision can somehow affect the lawsuit on non-payment of wages to Mazepin by his former team. Haas terminated the contract with Uralkali and with the driver himself. And Nikita went to court.
But as for the proceedings between Haas and Mazepin Sr., the return of his son to racing will not affect this process in any way, Aleksey Karpenko, senior partner at Forward Legal, is sure. Recall that Uralkali, as the title sponsor, transferred $13 million to Haas even before the start of the season. But Mazepin fell under sanctions (and only three days after Haas terminated the contract, which did not embarrass the American company). And Haas not only refused to return $13 million, but also demanded that Uralkali pay almost $9 million in compensation for lost profits due to the termination of the agreement. Alexey Karpenko continues:
Haas referred to the fact that being included in the sanctions lists hurts the image of the team, which, from my point of view, is a blatant disgrace and cynicism. She tried in this way to avoid the return of money paid in advance for the corresponding season. And she demanded more. Such a Jesuit position on the part of Haas.
A position that, apparently, the company will continue to insist on.
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