Former Haas driver Nikita Mazepin says he is suing his former employer over allegedly unpaid wages.
The Russian was sacked from the team before the start of the season after Haas dropped title sponsor Uralkali, a company his father Dmitry has a stake in, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He was replaced by returning driver Kevin Magnussen who secured a P5 finish in his first race back in Bahrain.
Now the 23-year-old has said he is taking his former team to court over what he claims are unpaid wages.
“At the termination of the contract Haas had a salary debt to me for this year,” he said to a group of journalists as reported by Russian outlet Championat.com. “And they still haven’t paid it.
“It seems to me that the employer should at least compensate the salary until the moment of termination and probably pay some severance pay. And when the whole world kicks you somewhere…that’s probably wrong. But that’s just my opinion.”
Mazepin claims that court documents have already been filed and that the breakdown of the team’s relationship with Uralkali should have had no effect on his contract.
— Nikita Mazepin (@nikita_mazepin) March 5, 2022
“I’m just talking about the fact that the contractual obligations were not met,” he said.
“That’s one. You also have to understand that we had two independent contracts. And the breakdown of the agreement with the title sponsor (Uralkali) had no direct impact on my future in the team.
“That is, they made two separate decisions. I have not seen my money, that is why we are going to court. This is my personal story. Documents have already been filed with the court.
Mazepin has also stated his desire to return to Formula 1 at some point in the future. Speaking in April, he said he hopes to return to the sport but is also open to other competitions should that not come to pass.
“My career is now on hiatus,” Mazepin said to the Ria Novosti news agency in a statement.
“But I have been involved in motorsport for 18 years, and I have no intention of leaving it. I’m keeping fit and I hope to return to Formula 1.
“If it doesn’t work out, I will consider other options. For example, I’m interested in racing in the desert. The Dakar is possible, as is the Silk Road rally.”