The EU Court ruling which could pave way for Nikita Mazepin’s F1 return

Thomas Maher
Nikita Mazepin in Haas fireproofs. Barcelona February 2022.

Nikita Mazepin in Haas fireproofs before his axing by the team. Barcelona February 2022.

Nikita Mazepin’s lawyers have successfully managed to have sanctions against the Russian racer overturned.

Sanctions against former F1 driver Nikita Mazepin have been overturned by the Court of Justice of the European Union, according to a spokesman for the Russian driver.

Mazepin, who raced with Haas in 2021 and had a contract for 2022, was dropped immediately, along with team title sponsor Uralkali, when Russia began military action in neighbouring Ukraine.

Sanctions placed upon Nikita Mazepin have been overruled

With massive sanctions placed upon Russia’s businesses and oligarchs, including Mazepins’ father Dmitry, CEO of Uralkali, the racing driver was locked out of racing series governed by the FIA as the governing body outlawed Russian athletes – instead offering drivers from Russia the ability to race under a neutral flag provided they were willing to sign an FIA decree distancing themselves from the actions taken by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Earlier this year, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled to allow Mazepin to enter the EU to allow for negotiations with F1 teams, and enabling him to participate in F1 and/or other racing series provided he could reach agreement with their governing body.

The Council of the European Union ignored the rules of the CJEU to extend sanctions against Mazepin, which was then challenged by Mazepin’s lawyers.

“In the new round, the Court upheld Nikita again, as there remains a need for interim measures to be taken to prevent serious and irreparable damage to the athlete,” his representation said, as quoted by Russian publication TASS.

“The Council of the EU did not provide convincing evidence to the contrary. Nikita Mazepin remains entitled to enter the EU to qualify for teams, participate in the Formula 1 series and other competitions. He can also receive income in connection with racing activities and negotiate with sponsors.” recommends

F1 team principals’ rich list: Net worth figures revealed for Wolff, Horner and more

Revealed: The contract status of every single race on the F1 2023 calendar

Why have sanctions against Nikita Mazepin been lifted?

According to Mazepin’s counsel Davide Rovetta and Aaron Bass, the CJEU’s second decision exempting the Russian driver from sanctions was based on the fact that he was “not involved” in what is going on in Ukraine.

“The President of the General Court was not satisfied that ‘the restrictive measures, in respect of the applicant, are founded on a sufficiently solid factual basis’ and reiterated that ‘the applicant is a young sportsman who is in no way involved in the aggression suffered by Ukraine and who is not engaged in any activity in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the Government of the Russian Federation,” they said, in a statement.

The ruling from March authorises Mazepin to enter the EU to negotiate and conclude agreements with racing teams and sponsors who are not linked to the activities of his father Dmitry.

He is also permitted to enter the EU for any racing activities governed by the EU, including any test sessions needed for the renewal of his super licence.

He may also open and use an EU bank account for the purposes of his racing activities.

However, all of these permissions are only permitted on the proviso of adhering to the FIA’s neutrality agreement and signing the driver commitment form.

As it stands, Mazepin has not been linked with any F1 team about a potential return to the sport.

Read More: Martin Brundle’s Spa analysis opens door for Max Verstappen ‘conspiracy theorists’