Nikita Mazepin has admitted that his career is currently on “pause”, and a return to Formula 1 in the future remains his priority when he starts racing again.
The former Haas driver was sacked by the team after Russia began their invasion of Ukraine in March, and Mazepin was retired by the team alongside title sponsor Uralkali, owned by father Dmitry.
He was quickly replaced by Kevin Magnussen in time for the start of the new season, but Mazepin insists he doesn’t want to leave motorsport altogether – and revealed he is keeping his options open beyond Formula 1, if he does not recover a place on the grid.
“My career is now on hiatus,” Mazepin told the Ria Novosti news agency in a statement.
“But I’ve been involved in motorsport for 18 years and I have no intention of leaving it. I’m keeping fit and hope to get back to Formula 1.
“If that doesn’t work, I’ll consider other options. For example, I’m interested in racing in the desert. The Dakar is possible, as is the Silk Road rally.
The legal fallout between Haas and Mazepin’s father in particular erupted after the team parted ways with its sponsor, and they reportedly refused to pay a $13 million claim made against them by Uralkali for money already paid this season.
The Russian driver himself also believes his withdrawal from Formula 1 is evidence of a so-called ‘cancellation culture’ against Russian athletes, most of whom have been banned from competing in international sport under the flag. of their country.
He has admitted his life has been drastically changed since losing his Formula 1 spot, and he is also planning to compete in events closer to home.
“My life changed dramatically in just one month,” he explained. “I am thinking of participating in competitions in Russia. However, all things in life, even the bad ones, have a beginning and an end.
“I hope that soon there will be another change, this time positive, in my life and in my career.”