Dmitry and Nikita Mazepin reportedly are interested in returning to the Formula 1 scene as part of a new team entrant.
Several months back the FIA opened up an ‘Expression of Interest’ process with the view to potentially accepting up to two new teams onto the Formula 1 grid in future.
The long-standing interest from the Andretti-Cadillac alliance has been well-documented, that prospective team the most vocal on their ambitions to join the grid, but they are not the only contender.
In addition to Andretti-Cadillac, there is also renewed interest from Panthera Team Asia, as well as a new project called ‘Formula Equal’, fronted by Former BAR chief executive, Craig Pollock. The objective there is to have a team which ultimately features a 50/50 split in its workforce between male and female employees.
There is also Hitech who are said to be eyeing a spot in Formula 1, a team currently competing in Formula 3 and Formula 2 which would look to step up to the premier class.
And it seems a former shareholder in that team is also an interested party in putting a new team onto the grid, that being Dmitry Mazepin.
Russian news agency Ria Novosti reports that the Mazepins, Dmitry and Nikita, hold an interest in potentially launching their own team and are currently weighing up the idea.
Their past Formula 1 involvement tied them to Haas where Dmitry’s Uralkali company formerly served as the team’s title sponsor, with his son Nikita driving for the team in 2021 alongside Mick Schumacher as part of an all-rookie line-up at the time.
Haas would sever ties with the Mazepins during the pre-season of F1 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with an unnamed source close to Mazepin,” Russian journalist Maria Melnikova stated.
“It was about the fact that Dmitry Mazepin has not given up the idea of starting his own team in Formula 1 and is ready to invest in a new project.”
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The Mazepins would face a tall task
As Andretti-Cadillac have already found out, a great deal of opposition exits among the current 10 teams to a new name joining the fray, this ultimately boiling down to money.
While a new entrant must pay an anti-dilution fee of $200 million to secure a spot on the grid, this then a means of compensation to the current teams for a new one getting in on the revenue distribution, the existing teams have taken a more long-term view on how a new entrant would benefit the sport financially beyond their cut of this fee.
Andretti-Cadillac have struggled to convince the likes of Mercedes, Red Bull and Haas principal Guenther Steiner that they would be a financially-positive addition to Formula 1, even though this is the union of an iconic American racing brand and household American automotive name.
Considering Formula 1’s popularity boom in the United States and calendar expansion in that nation, if teams are struggling to see the value of Andretti-Cadillac, it is hard to see them looking on any bid from the Mazepins any more favourably.