Court says Mazepin free to return to Formula 1

A top European court has confirmed that sacked Nikita Mazepin is now free to race in Formula 1.

Earlier this year, the same court temporarily lifted European sanctions on the Russian former Haas driver that had been imposed at the outset of the Ukraine conflict.

“The court was not satisfied that the restrictive measures against the applicant were based on a sufficiently solid factual basis,” Mazepin’s lawyers told Tass news agency.

They added that Mazepin, 24, is a “young sportsman who was in no way involved in the events in Ukraine and does not carry out any activity in the sectors of the economy that would bring substantial income to the Russian government”.

Without the court’s intervention, Mazepin is exposed to “serious and irreparable damage to the athlete”.

“The EU council has not provided convincing evidence to the contrary,” the lawyers continued.

Mazepin therefore now has the right to enter Europe “to negotiate with Formula 1 teams” and race in other series, including receiving “income in connection with racing activities and negotiations with sponsors”.

This week, Mick Schumacher’s cousin David said Mazepin’s presence in the sister car at Haas in 2021 hurt Mick’s Formula 1 career.

“Mick’s problem was that he couldn’t really compete with his teammate Nikita Mazepin in his debut year,” David, the son of Michael Schumacher’s brother Ralf, told Sport1.

“Both were rookies and Mazepin, who Mick dominated, was no benchmark. But as a young driver you urgently need that in order to develop.”

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