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Mazepin handed MAJOR F1 return blow after VITAL sanction ruling

Mazepin handed MAJOR F1 return blow after VITAL sanction ruling

Mazepin handed MAJOR F1 return blow after VITAL sanction ruling

Mazepin handed MAJOR F1 return blow after VITAL sanction ruling

Nikita Mazepin's faint hopes of an F1 return have been dealt a major blow after the High Court ruled against lifting British sanctions on him.

The Russian driver spent one season in F1 with Haas in 2021, struggling to get to grips with the car as the team floundered at the back of the grid.

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Mazepin earned a reputation as a controversial figure during his short stint in F1 and this wasn't helped by some frosty radio comments and a handful of on-track near misses.

The 24-year-old was contracted to drive for the team in 2022, but due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine Haas decided to terminate the contract of Mazepin and the partnership with his father's company, Uralkali.

Fighting a losing battle

Unfortunately for Mazepin, a return to F1 looks highly unlikely, with a test and reserve driver role the only realistic capacity in which he could return to the grid.

The sanctions, imposed by the UK, Canada and the European Union, stop Mazepin from racing in their respective territories, effectively ending his racing career in Europe.

BBC Sport reported: "Lawyers representing Mazepin asked Mr Justice Linden at a High Court hearing in London on Thursday to suspend the sanctions in the interim so he could travel to the United Kingdom in order to begin negotiations with Formula 1 teams based there.

Nikita Mazepin was forced out of his drive with Haas during 2022 pre-season testing

"The judge dismissed their application, saying he was "quite satisfied" that the balance of evidence weighed against granting interim relief."

This will be a major blow for Mazepin, as the majority of F1 teams base their operations out of England, making it impossible for him to negotiate a deal, or complete simulator work if a deal was struck.

Mazepin is now relying on the outcome of his upcoming trial on July 19th, in which he is taking legal action against James Cleverly, the UK's Foreign Secretary.

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