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Mazepin back in the EU: 'Need to train and keep myself in shape'

Mazepin back in the EU: 'Need to train and keep myself in shape'

05-10-2023 07:39 Last update: 08:35

Cas van de Kleut

It has been a year and a half since Nikita Mazepin lost his Formula 1 seat. The Haas team chose to replace the Russian with Kevin Magnussen after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The EU imposed sanctions on the son of Russian oligarch-businessman Dmitri Mazepin because his father was seen as a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now, almost 600 days later, Nikita is allowed to return to an EU country for the first time to train.

Mazepin's Formula 1 career wasn't the smoothest. The Russian received a lot of criticism from fans, but also from his fellow drivers. He was nicknamed 'Mazespin', which team boss Guenther Steiner made a joke of by giving the then Haas driver toys that could spin.

Mazepin back on EU soil

In July, the European court decided that some of the sanctions imposed on Mazepin were unjustified and that this would allow him to re-enter the EU. The Russian revealed through an Instagram post that he is in Italy. Despite now being allowed back into an EU country, he revealed on Instagram he is not happy with how fast the process is going: "I was allowed into Italy on a national visa, but that was as far as I was permitted to go. It would seem that the journey should be a lot faster in the modern world, but that's the way it is. As though I'm walking there."

It seems unlikely that Mazepin will return to Formula 1. The former Haas driver himself says: "Of course, none of this helps the development of a sporting career when you can't move around freely and participate in negotiations. But the need to train and prepare for competitions remains, so I have been working on my health and on keeping myself in shape."