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Fittipaldi most likely to replace Mazepin

NEWS STORY
27/02/2022

Haas team boss, Guenther Steiner has admitted that Pietro Fittipaldi is the most likely replacement should the team need to drop Nikita Mazepin.

The Russian's future with Haas, indeed F1, is under threat as a direct result of this week's invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

As part of global backlash against the invasion, which has seen governments worldwide issue sanctions against Russia, all manner of business deals involving Russian money are under scrutiny, no less so than potash giant Uralkali, which is owned by Mazepin's father.

For the final day of testing in Spain all Uralkali branding was removed from the Haas cars and the team admitted that it is to decide the future of its partnership with the company in the coming days.

If Uralkali goes it is unthinkable that Nikita Mazepin - who is already unpopular with a large group of fans - could continue with the team, or indeed in F1.

Speaking to Speed City Broadcasting, Guenther Steiner has admitted that Pietro Fittipaldi, who replaced Romain Grosjean in the final two races of 2020, could step into the second Haas.

"If Nikita couldn't drive for one or another reason, the first call would go to Pietro," said Steiner. "Obviously, he has been with us for a few years, and then we would see what we do next.

"Pietro is always around with us for a reason," he added. "The last years, we needed a reserve driver, having COVID around, so he is always around.

"He knows the team, he knows the car to jump in for one day to the other. There is nobody better than Pietro around at the moment."

That last comment may raise eyebrows, especially as Michael Andretti (and Liberty Media) is keen to bring an American into F1 - and Haas is an American team.

Check out our testing galleries here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by meatball, 28/02/2022 20:16

"given his families political ties to Putin, how can they possibly look at anything BUT cutting him from the team. Their involvement with Putin should have been investigated years ago. There is blood on all these Oligarch families for propping that terrorist up.

From Wiki - A 2014 news story published in Russian daily Izvestia claimed that Mazepin planned to acquire Odessa Port Plant, a major Ukrainian chemical asset.[45][46] Mazepin has denied that he or Uralchem harbor any interest in the asset.[47]"

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2. Posted by @R1Racing71, 28/02/2022 19:15

"Reading between the lines here, and the amount of noise coming from the Andretti camp right now suggests they're going to take advantage of the perfect storm and tie up with Haas in one form or another.
Hell, it's an ideal fit isn't it - those good ol' American boys kicking out the Russian bear - replacing the livery with the star spangled banner with a US driver at the helm. Got the makings of a Hollywood script all over. Bet you Netflix can't believe their luck!"

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3. Posted by pap_pap_c, 27/02/2022 23:52

"I'm not suggesting Haas do anything other than cut its ties to Uralkali and Mazepin, but if it does will Haas be able to continue racing? Won't it need a big sponsor to step in?"

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 27/02/2022 11:48

"@Max Noble - indeed!"

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5. Posted by Max Noble, 27/02/2022 11:00

"Our standards are defined by what we are prepared to walk past…"

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6. Posted by Wokingchap, 27/02/2022 10:58

"What a ray of sunshine in this awfull period of world gloom, all caused by mazespins fathers pal putin. The sooner he goes the better. "

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