Russian businessman Dmitry Mazepin is looking into buying the Haas F1 team, according to reports.
The Italian version of Motorsport.com claims Mazepin, who is understood to be a billionaire, would install his son Nikita, currently sixth in the 2020 F2 Championship, as one of the drivers should he take control of the team.
Mazepin Jnr, 21, recently won the F2 feature race at Mugello for the Hitech team and if he retains his place among the top seven in the standings after the four remaining rounds in the series, he will be eligible for an F1 super-licence.
The Motorsport.com report claims that “last weekend in Sochi there were meetings with different teams, and in particular it seems Mazepin is interested in Haas”.
It adds that “according to some insiders, Nikita’s father, Dmitry, could put an offer on the table which becomes difficult to give up”.
The other factor linked is the future of Sergio Perez, who is seeking a drive for next year after being pushed out of the Racing Point team to make way for Sebastian Vettel.
The report says: “In fact, some negotiations that seemed to be concluded by now have been frozen. Should Haas consider Mazepin’s candidacy, the negotiations involving Sergio Perez will be at risk, with the Mexican forced to knock elsewhere, perhaps even at the doors of teams that are officially already in full ranks.”
One of those is said to be Williams, who have already announced that George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will remain with the team. However, that was before the buyout from Dorilton Capital, which could potentially put a different slant on things.
“The change of ownership of the English team makes the contracts with its drivers less cemented than one might think,” concludes the report.
If Mazepin was to buy the Haas team, it would bear similarities to Lawrence Stroll’s purchase of Racing Point, who have the owner’s son Lance in situ as a driver alongside Perez and as Vettel’s colleague next year.
Haas have collected only one World Championship point so far this year and although they recently signed the Concorde Agreement that pledges their future to F1, they have not upgraded their car at all during the 2020 campaign.
Haas, however, has been quick to deny the reports.
“The team is not for sale,” the American racing outfit told Formula1News.co.uk.