They Fired Him and Kept the Money

Deep Dive into the firing of Nikita Mazepin


Left: Dmitry Mazepin Right: Nikita Mazepin Photo Credit:

Unless you are living under a rock you probably know Russia and Ukraine are at war. That has affected everybody and everything, even Formula One (F1). In my article, “One Two Baby, One Two” I skimmed the surface of the firing of Nikita Mazepin. Here, I would like to take a deep dive into the whole firing and the moments leading up to it.


Haas is historically a bad team. The team manager of Haas Gunther Steiner was very involved in this whole process. The only reason Haas is still in this sport is that Uralkali is the lead sponsor which is the business owned by Dmitry. Dmitry also pays for Nikita to race.

Leading Up to Being Fired

After Russia invaded Ukraine on the 24th of February, Dmitry and other oligarchs (a rich business person who influnces politics) were at the White House just four days later. When asked about the invasion, Nikita Mazepin said he wants to keep politics out of the sport and that he just wants to race. This is a bold statement seeing that the only reason that he is on the team is that his father bought him his spot. His very place in the sport is political. Though it does make sense that he just wants to race, I don´t really care since he is very bad at driving and it just gives us one less person who crashes out of races. Haas was reviewing all of this and while that was going on they were also deciding whether to cancel the Russian GP. On the 3rd of March, they decided to cancel the Russian GP, fire Mazepin, and drop Uralkali as their sponsor.


Following Mazepin being sacked, the Mazepins demanded their money back since they had already paid for the season. Haas made it very clear that they would not be refunding the 13 million dollars they had paid for that season of racing. They also requested 8.6 million more for the loss of funds from the sponsor. They did not end up paying any of their money back and Haas did not have to pay the 8.6 million. They replaced Mazepin with Kevin Magnessun – or K Mag as my family calls him. He has done very well and in my opinion, is way better than Mazepin. Comment if you think it was right for them to fire him or not.