“The state doesn’t give a damn about those athletes”– Nikita Mazepin is expected to serve the Russian army for a year amidst his F1 career.
The Haas driver Nikita Mazepin entered Formula 1 via controversial means, but now he is a part of F1, which may get hindered by his homeland.
Even though Mazepin is driving without the Russian flag in F1, that wouldn’t strip him of his citizenship. And his association with Russia obligates him to serve the army for a year.
Talking about his possible exile from F1, his father criticized the state for not respecting the athletes and making an exception in their case when serving the nations through arms.
“Nikita has to do 23 races this year, and they tell him to join the army,” Mazepin’s father Dmitry said according to TASS. He said to me, ‘Dad, what should I do? I have a race every two weeks.’”
But according to him, nobody cares about Mazepin’s commitment to F1, and then his father went on to say that this is not only about his son only, but about all Russian athletes.
“It’s not just about Nikita Mazepin,” said Mazepin senior. “But also for everyone else in the same situation. The state doesn’t give a damn about those athletes.”
Haas would be more stressed?
Nikita’s father invested in Haas majorly in exchange for an F1 driving spot for his son. Something which allowed the survival of Haas in the sport for the foreseeable future.
The same reason is also what Guenther Steiner hinted at sparing Mazepin for his sexual harassment controversy before the start of the season.
So, if Mazepin is forced to go for military service, Haas might get stripped of its sponsorship from Uralkali, which may change everything for them.
The only thing they could arrange is to guarantee Mazepin a seat when he returns and renews his super license. But what if Mazepin then eye for a different team? A lot is at stake here.