Nikita Mazepin won’t give up the Russian flag to return to the grid

Nikita Mazepin said he will not race under a neutral flag in order to return to Formula 1 in the future.

The Russian had to drive for Haas again this season after his first campaign in 2021, but was barred from turning a competitive wheel after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Indeed, it was just one of many examples of the sport turning its back on the country, with things like the Champions League final also pulled out of the country earlier this year.

We also saw the Russian Grand Prix canceled for this year and indefinitely for future seasons, while Haas and Uralkali, the team’s then title sponsor and also a company overseen by Mazepin’s father, Dmitry Mazepin, have saw their relationship come to an end.

Nikita Mazepin won’t give up the Russian flag

That said, there is little Russian involvement in F1 as things stand, although we will see Robert Shwartzman drive for Ferrari in two FP1 sessions later this year, with him now using the Israeli flag rather than the Russian flag he had in the past, with him having dual citizenship.

Mazepin has no such option but wouldn’t even consider it if he did, or use a neutral flag even if it meant he might have a chance of returning to F1 – although nothing to that regard was suggested anyway.

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BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 25: Nikita Mazepin of Russia driving the (9) Ferrari Haas F1 VF-22 during day three of F1 testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 25, 2022 in Barcelona, ​​Spain . (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

“People cannot be convicted,” Mazepin told rsport.ria.ru.

“We are athletes and everyone has their own choices, which must be respected.

“[Konstantin] Zhiltsov is not the only one, Robert Shwartzman did the same. It’s a matter of personal considerations. Whether you want to give up your country for sport and whether it’s more important to you or not. Everyone chooses for themselves, but I will not.

So it looks like a return to F1 for Mazepin isn’t massively imminent, to put it lightly.

Russia and Ukraine are still at war and while it lasts, you can’t see athletes under the Russian flag getting much attention in terms of their respective sports, especially if they have the same position in Mazepin.

As Nikita mentions, some like Robert Shwartzman have opted to use their other nationalities to further their careers, with the Ferrari academy driver getting the chance to show what he can do in Austin and another unconfirmed location. later this season during FP1 sessions.

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