When Kevin Magnussen bowed out of Formula 1 at the end of 2020, he seemed almost happy to be done with the sport.

The season had delivered him a career-worst result of a solitary point, though the paltry return wasn’t for a lack of trying. Haas was in steep decline and struggling to keep its head above water, and Magnussen and teammate Romain Grosjean extracted just one points finish each over 17 rounds.

In the end Haas dismissed both its drivers in favour of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, two rookies who could inject funding into the team.

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Nikita Mazepin says he’s lost “trust” in his former Haas Formula 1 team after it sacked him without warning in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The axed star, who was replaced by former Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, also said he intends to set up a foundation to help Russian athletes banned from international competition due to the war.

Nikita and his father, Dmitry Mazepin, were subsequently specifically named and added to a European Union sanctions blacklist overnight owing to their close ties to Vladimir Putin.

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For a driver with 22 starts, no points and a highest finish of 14th to his name, Nikita Mazepin has attracted an extraordinary amount of attention in his single year in Formula 1.

And a single year is almost certainly all he’s likely to get after he was summarily sacked by Haas on Saturday.

Sanctions levied against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine forced the issue, and a growing number of national motorsport bodies, including Motorsport Australia, have moved to ban Russian licence-holders.

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Nikita Mazepin’s chances of clinging to his Formula 1 seat have received a boost after the FIA declined to ban Russians from international motorsport despite IOC recommendations.

Mazepin will be allowed to race under the FIA flag subject to “adherence to the FIA’s principles of peace and political neutrality”. The FIA also confirmed the Russian Grand Prix has been cancelled for 2022 for reasons of “force majeure”.

But the Haas driver’s future in the sport is far from certain. His position in the team dependent on the backing of Russian chemicals company Uralkali, in which his father, Dmitry, is a shareholder. Dimity Mazepin has ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of Ukraine is now in its seventh day.

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Haas F1® team principal Guenther Steiner reflects on the American team’s debut in Australia in 2016, explains why he’s looking ahead to the 2022 Formula 1® regulation changes, assesses rookie drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, and talks about his increased profile from the ‘Formula 1: Drive To Survive’ Netflix series.

SEN Drive, 5 January: Australian Grand Prix Postponement

Romain Grosjean’s survival from his horror fireball smash in Bahrain is all down to motorsport’s pursuit of excellence.

Lewis Hamilton has controlled the Bahrain Grand Prix after a fireball smash had Romain Grosjean sent to hospital and the race suspended on lap one.

Grosjean’s Haas car left the track at around 240 kilometres per hour after tangling with Daniil Kvyat at turn three and slammed into the steel barriers, breaking in two.

The front section of the car wedged itself among the rails and burst into flames, trapping the Frenchman inside for 20 seconds until he could undo his belts and climb from the burning wreckage.

Guenther Steiner
Guenther Steiner was found to have brought the sport into disrepute for his Russian Grand Prix comments.
Romain Grosjean's technical work has helped him secure another year with Haas.
Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen race wheel-to-wheel on track at Hockenheim.
Haas principal Guenther Steiner could axe one of his drivers over their on-track battles.
Romain Grosjean on the Haas pit wall.
The GPDA says it has the answers to F1's woes.
William Storey
Rich Energy is the story that keeps on giving.
Whatever’s causing the problem, it’s clear unlocking the tyres is key to unlocking the Haas VF-19’s potential — just don’t blame Pirelli.
When the flag drops the bullshit stops. Finally, with just days until the season-opening 2019 Australian Grand Prix, we’re about to get some concrete answers on just what kind of Formula One season we’re in for.
Kevin Magnussen leads a gaggle of midfield cars at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Formula One isn’t a two-tier racing category, but the 2018 season featured an undoubted class divide.

Haas will get a new name and livery from 2019 thanks to its new title sponsor.
Romain Grosjean on track at the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix.
How has the midfield fared in F1 in 2018?