Failing in his bid to have his UK sanctions overturned, Nikita Mazepin admits that in “reality” his chances of returning to the F1 grid aren’t looking good.
Last season, in the weeks after he lost his Haas racing seat, Mazepin was hit with sanctions from the UK government, Canada and the European Union in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
That put paid to his attempts to find a new race seat with the sanctions meaning he can’t enter the United Kingdom to even speak to the teams, the majority of which are based in England.
As such he launched legal proceedings to have the sanctions lifted but that was turned down earlier this week, the judge stating that he was “quite satisfied” that the evidence weighed against granting interim relief and that he did not believe any team would look at Mazepin until such a time as all the sanctions against him are lifted.
Mazepin, though, didn’t take that lying down and launched legal proceedings against UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly with that set to be heard on 19 July.
But with his F1 future hanging in the balance, the 24-year-old doesn’t sound optimistic.
“Difficult question,” grandpx.news quotes him as having told Match TV when asked if he really wants back on the grid. “I can clearly tell you what I want, but we live in reality.”
“I want to compete,” he added. “I’m in good shape, at a good weight – I could come back. If not, then I have enough to do that brings me pleasure.
“I am 24 years old, I am healthy and in shape. Until something changes, I don’t set limits for myself.
“I think you need to live without limits, so that there is something to strive for.”
Mazepin spent a season with Haas, 2021, but failed to score a single point for the American team before he was dropped during 2022’s pre-season testing.