GT3 Racing News: Mazepin Back on Track After EU Sanctions Lifted

    In a significant development for the world of GT3 racing, former Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin has completed a test session at the new Balton Park Circuit in Hungary. This comes after the European Union’s General Court lifted the sanctions imposed on the 25-year-old Russian driver at the start of the year.

    “I am happy the EU has acknowledged that athletes like myself who have no relation to politics should not be placed under sanctions,” Mazepin said, expressing his hope that all athletes currently prevented from participating in international competitions due to geopolitics will be returned to the sporting community.

    The ruling, made on 20 March, removed Mazepin from the list of individuals sanctioned in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The EU concluded that there was no obvious link between Mazepin and his father Dmitry, who was also placed on the sanction list, beyond their family ties. As a result, the decision was made not to keep Mazepin subject to any restrictive measures.

    With the Council of the EU deciding not to appeal the court’s decision, the sanctions were fully annulled on 30 May, allowing Mazepin to return to the EU for the first time in years. The Russian driver wasted no time in taking advantage of this opportunity, heading to the Hungarian circuit to test an LMGT3 car, believed to be a Ferrari 296 GT3.

    Mazepin’s Formula 1 career came to an abrupt end in 2022 when Haas terminated his contract in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The American team also ended its sponsorship agreement with Uralkali, a Russian fertiliser company run by Mazepin’s father.

    The termination of the contract led to a legal battle between Haas and Uralkali, with the latter demanding a refund of $13 million. A recent ruling by a Swiss arbitration court has now determined that Haas can keep a portion of the sponsorship fee, covering the agreement until its termination on 4 March 2022, and must refund the remaining amount of around $9 million.

    In addition, the court has also ordered Haas to pay Nikita Mazepin half his salary for the 2022 season. This development marks a significant turning point for the former F1 driver, who now has the opportunity to explore new avenues in the world of GT3 racing.

    As Mazepin continues his quest for more racing opportunities, his recent test at the Balton Park Circuit in Hungary serves as a testament to his determination to return to the international motorsports stage.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source