Russian driver Nikita Mazepin (pictured) is talking to lawyers about suing Haas after they sacked him on Saturday — but suffered another blow on Wednesday when he was sanctioned by the European Union.
The 23-year-old, speaking for the first time since being dropped by the American team over his family’s links to Vladimir Putin, also revealed he had received support from fellow members of the grid.
Mazepin’s oligarch father, 53-year-old Dmitry, is close to the Russian president. Like Nikita, he is set to have his assets frozen and be hit with a travel ban by the EU.
Dmitry was part-owner of Haas’s main sponsors, fertiliser company Uralkali, before the deal was ripped up along with the driver’s contract.
Speaking from Moscow, Mazepin said: ‘It is good to keep all (legal) options open.
There was no legal reason that could enable the team to terminate my contract.
“I was told if the FIA allowed me to compete on their rules, and I agreed to them, there would be no actions to remove me from the seat.
I have not heard from the team since it happened.
“I am a young man and I lost my dream which I have been working towards for 18 years.
“But I absolutely do not see Formula One as a closed chapter.
I am going to stay in race condition and I will be ready to take on an opportunity if it comes.”
Haas dumped Mazepin despite the FIA allowing him to compete under a neutral flag.
Mazepin added: “I appreciated the small number of drivers who expressed their support for me.
Sergio (Perez), Valtteri (Bottas), Charles (Leclerc) and George (Russell) contacted me.”
Dane Kevin Magnussen, 29, will return to the team to replace Mazepin and partner Mick Schumacher this coming season, it was confirmed on Wednesday night. — Daily Mail.