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Mazepin has EU sanctions lifted after court ruling

Former Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin has had sanctions against him lifted by the European Union’s General Court.

#98 99 Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson: Nikita Mazepin

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

In a ruling that was made on Wednesday, the European Union said that it could not justify the ex-Haas F1 racer remaining on a list of individuals that have had sanctions imposed on them as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

At the time, Mazepin and his father Dmitry were singled out as persons who were subject to restrictive measures, which included the freezing of funds and bans from entering the territory of member states.

That decision came shortly after Mazepin was axed by the Haas team on the eve of the 2022 season, when the American-owned squad announced that it had terminated his driver contract, and that of his backer and team title sponsor Uralkali, because of the invasion.

Mazepin, who has since returned to racing in the Asian Le Mans Series, had long pushed to get removed from sanction lists around the world but had been unsuccessful.

However, the EU has now changed its stance and said that Mazepin should be taken off the sanctions list as there was no evidence of there being any ties with his father beyond family links.

And, while his father’s Uralkali business had sponsored his racing activities previously, its backing was no longer a factor since he had lost his drive at Haas.

#98 99 Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson: Nikita Mazepin

#98 99 Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson: Nikita Mazepin

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

In a statement issued by the General Court, it argued that putting Mazepin on the sanction list – simply because of the association with his father – was wrong.

It said: “The General Court recalls that the 'association' criterion, applied in respect of Mr Nikita Mazepin, covers persons who are, generally speaking, linked by common interests.

“In accordance with settled case-law, that criterion implies the existence of a link going beyond a family relationship, established in the light of a set of indicia sufficiently specific, precise and consistent.

“In the circumstances of the present case, the General Court holds that the Council did not discharge its burden of proof to establish such a link.

“The association between Mr Nikita Mazepin and his father is in no way established from an economic or capital perspective or by the existence of common interests linking them at the time when the maintaining acts were adopted.”

Mazepin welcomed the move, even though it is thought unlikely to change anything materially in his bid to get back to F1.

Watch: Explained: Mercedes Grabs Resta from Ferrari in F1 Staff Swoop

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