Russian Driver Nikita Mazepin's F1 Contract Terminated

    Image copyright: Getty Images [via Fox News]

    The Facts

    • The Haas Formula One Team has dropped Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and ended a sponsorship deal with his father's fertilizer company Uralkali.

    • The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) had ruled to allow Russian drivers to continue racing under a neutral flag, as long as they backed the federation's principles of peace and neutrality.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Mazepin was ready and willing to comply with sanctions, yet there was no due process when his contract was terminated. He has been completely ignored by the federation, being unjustly turned away due to his nationality and father's ties to Putin.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Regardless of Mazepin's willingness to comply, his father's connection to Putin was valid reason for cutting ties. The Uralkali deal helped Haas secure its finances ahead of the 2021 season. Maintaining any links to the Mazepins could undermine the West's attempts to sanction Russia, especially as Haas can get their funding elsewhere.

    Establishment split



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