Before the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season, the world scene changed completely with the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine , which triggered a series of actions that affected the highest category of motorsport.
One of the effects was the fall of the race in Sochi from the calendar and the definitive rupture of the contract with the Russian country, with which, in principle, the Great Circus will not return to this territory.
In addition to the start of the event in Russia, the grid underwent changes a few days before the start of the official activity, as the Haas team got rid of its driver Nikita Mazepin and the main sponsor, Uralkali , which is owned by his father. , Dmitry.
That decision was very difficult to make, since the American team wanted to give the Russian driver a second chance after his dismal debut in 2021, but the war was the last straw for the Kannapolis team. Because Haas did not want to be involved in the controversy of the conflict, they opted to fire Mazepin and break the contract with Uralkali, and Kevin Magnussen took his place.
The head of the American team, Guenther Steiner , revealed that it was not an easy stage, and they were sure to continue with Mick Schumacher and the Russian in their ranks for 2022, but in the preseason everything changed.
The Italian admits that he had to think hard about the decision, and that he was the one who made it, but that the financial situation had nothing to do with it: “It was a matter of how to do it without hurting anyone, causing as little damage as possible.”
“A lot of people wouldn’t have been happy if we went ahead with Mazepin and did what we did,” Haas’s boss told Racer . “So it wasn’t an easy decision, but it was something clear about what we had to do, because as much as the people involved didn’t do anything wrong, it was for the team.”
With little hope, the Americans approached the start of the Formula 1 season, but at the opening round in Bahrain, Kevin Magnussen scored a strong result, a fifth-place finish that was Haas’ first points since the race at Imola in 2020.
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