Ralf: ‘A shame’ for Mazepin’ but ‘correct decision made’

Mark Scott
Nikita Mazepin looking downbeat in Turkey.

Nikita Mazepin, Haas, looking downbeat at the Turkish Grand Prix. October 2021.

Ralf Schumacher has expressed some sympathy towards Nikita Mazepin losing his Haas seat, but thinks the right decision has been made.

Given that Ralf Schumacher is uncle to Mick in the other seat, he has not always been the first to be complimentary or sympathetic towards Mazepin in a team-mate battle which hotted up on more than one occasion during the 2021 season.

Mick Schumacher and Mazepin were all set for another season together at Haas in 2022, but Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has ultimately ensured that Mazepin no longer has a Formula 1 seat.

Both he and title sponsor Uralkali, owned by Nikita’s father, Dmitry, are no longer associated with Haas, who announced a split with both parties on Saturday as they expressed their ‘shock and sadness’ at the invasion of Ukraine and stated their wish for a ‘swift and peaceful end to the conflict’.

Following the announcement, Mazepin claimed on social media that he was willing to abide by the FIA’s new requirements and continue racing under a neutral flag, but that offer was “completely ignored” by Haas.

Ralf Schumacher had sympathy for his nephew’s rival and the situation he found himself in, but believes Haas were left with no option but to sever all ties.

“It’s a shame for Nikita, because he can’t do anything about it and it has absolutely nothing to do with him,” he told Sky Sports Deutschland.

“I realise it’s a difficult situation, but a split is the only right option.

“From a sporting point of view, this can also be a good decision for the team.

“It had to come to this separation mainly for two reasons: one is the pressure from outside, the other is the fact that Haas is an American team.”

Naturally, with a large amount of funding now no longer available, there are concerns that Haas may struggle financially throughout the 2022 season.

But Schumacher is comforted by the words of Haas boss Guenther Steiner and thinks the removal of Uralkali and the Mazepin name from the team could lead to fresh investment opportunities.

“Team principal Guenther Steiner has pointed out that the team has quite a lot of support financially and I can also imagine that some other sponsors will come along, or are even already around the corner.

“I believe that the team will be able to overcome the absence of a title sponsor and thus solve this financial problem that arose with the departure of Uralkali.”


PlanetF1 verdict


Ralf Schumacher shows sympathy for Mazepin

Mick Schumacher's uncle Ralf has said that the decision to drop Mazepin is a shame but that the correct decision was made.