Mazepin hurt that Haas staff haven’t stayed in touch as he prepares to sue
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F1 outcast Nikita Mazepin says he has been left hurt by the lack of contact from Haas since he was sacked by the team on the eve of the 2022 season.
The Russian’s place on the grid last year was unpinned by his father Dmitry’s sponsorship of the team via his chemical company, Uralkali. Mazepin senior is a close associate of Vladimir Putin and after the Russian despot launched his invasion of Ukraine, Haas severed links with both Mazepins, leaving Nikita without a drive.
The swift action by Haas was welcomed across F1 and sport in general, but the Mazepins are refusing to let the matter lie and a legal battle is underway. Nikita didn’t endear himself to Haas in 2021, suffering numerous crashes as well as being completely outpaced by teammate Mick Schumacher. However, he has expressed his disappointment that no one from the team has kept in touch since his sacking.
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“Why hasn't anyone contacted me? I don't know,” he told Russian Match TV, via Racing 365. “But if a mechanic or someone I worked closely with was fired, I would send a message on WhatsApp, regardless of my attitude towards him or towards the management. It would be easier on the soul, but a fact is a fact.”
In a separate interview, Mazepin confirmed he is intending to sue the team for non-payment of wages.
“When the contract was terminated, Haas had a salary arrears to me for 2022. And they still haven’t paid it,” he told RBC Sport.
“According to my information, Formula 1 paid money to [promoter] Rosgonki for the cancelled Russian Grand Prix and, thereby, set an example of etiquette – there are business relations and you can't go wild, this is wrong. Unfortunately, not everyone is guided by this.”
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He added that the claim over unpaid wages is separate from his father’s case regarding the sponsorship of the team being dropped.
“I'm just talking about the fact that contractual obligations were not fulfilled. You also need to understand that we had two independent contracts," he explained.
“And breaking the agreement with the title sponsor did not have a direct impact on my future in the team. So they made two separate decisions. I didn’t see my money, so we’re going to court.”
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