Nikita Mazepin reveals that George Russell removed him from the GPDA WhatsApp group on the same day he was fired from Haas.
Mazepin’s F1 stint was dismal to say the least. He joined Haas alongside fellow rookie Mick Schumacher in the 2021 season, and struggled from the very start. Schumacher convincingly outperformed him on all aspects.
However, the start of 2022 proved to be turbulent for different reasons. His country Russia, started a war in Ukraine which led to Haas cancelling the Uralkali sponsorship. Mazepin as a result, was removed from the team and former driver Kevin Magnussen was brought back.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 5, 2022
Mazepin spoke out against his sacking repeatedly, insisting that Haas treated him unfairly in spite of him complying to the rules set by FIA. Regardless, he lost his seat in F1, and a return in the near future looks unlikely.
The 23-year old admitted that a few big name drivers offered him messages of support following his removal. However, a bizarre incident was revealed by the Russian driver recently.
Nikita Mazepin won’t be judging George Russell for unceremoniously removing him
George Russell is the current director of the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA). They’re a trade union among F1 drivers, who look after matters related to welfare of fellow athletes in the sport.
Mazepin became a part of the group upon his entry into F1. However, he was unceremoniously removed from the group when he was sacked. The drivers had a WhatsApp group, and Mazepin was kicked out of it as soon as Haas made his departure official.
“To be honest, I was removed from the GPDA group on WhatsApp the same day Haas announced his firing,” he said. “Of course, I received the support of my companions.”
Today I am announcing the creation of a new foundation to help athletes who have been blocked from competing for political reasons. #WeCompeteAsOne
— Nikita Mazepin (@nikita_mazepin) March 9, 2022
“Of course, I received the support of my companions. Several well-known drivers who are now in the ‘top 5’ have written me private messages. Some decided to support me publicly, others to remain silent. But I’m not judging anyone.”
Mazepin has not been associated with the sport in any way since his departure. Recently however, he announced that he would be taking his former team Haas to the court, over issues of unpaid wages.