Being the only Russian driver in the F1 during the current events between Russian and Ukraine has proven to be difficult for Haas driver Nikita Mazepin as his future in the sport stands on shaky ground. After recent news that the driver has been stopped from racing in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, rumours have started circling that Haas will be replacing him altogether with its reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi.
This change, if it does come, is likely to happen before the preseason testing in Bahrain on March 18.
— Sergio Rodríguez 🏎⚽️ (@sergiorf97) March 3, 2022
Mazepin has been stopped from driving at the British GP after Motorsport UK announced that no Russian or Belarusian athletes will be allowed to compete or even enter motorsport competitions in the UK. On top of this, no flags or national anthems from these countries will be allowed at British events.
Karun Chandhok, an Indian racing driver, brought up an interesting point, however. He questioned whether these new rules are too weak, arguing that the FIA should ask drivers to cut ties to Russia themselves.
“What isn’t very well known is that drivers can apply to other ASNs [national sporting authorities] for their licences as the racing nationality is linked to their licence rather than passport,
“Therefore a stronger stand from the FIA would ensure that the drivers also cut ties with Russia & apply elsewhere.”
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) March 1, 2022
Who is Pietro Fittipaldi?
Pietro Fittipaldi is a Brazilian-American driver and the grandson of two-time-world champion Emerson Fittipaldi who won with Lotus and McLaren in 1972 and ’74 respectively.
Pietro debuted in 2020 when he raced in the place of Romain Grosjean at the Sakhir Grand Prix, and also has experience after racing in the 2021 IndyCar Series for Dale Coyne Racing.
Official statement from Haas
Haas is yet to make a statement on what’s happening, but we’re hoping something is said by the end of this week.