Mazepin was fired as a driver for the Amer-can-owned Haas team after it came under pressure from fans and governing bodies to distance itself from Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Not only did the team cut ties with its main sponsor Uralkali – a business that is now suing them for damages – but also confirmed yesterday that Mazepin would be replaced by Kevin Magnussen.
Now on Twitter, Mazepin has revealed that he’s starting a foundation to help athletes who have been put in a similar position to him. We assume from this means Russian athletes who have been blocked from competing due to the waging war in Ukraine.
He posted the following to Twitter:
Today I am announcing the creation of a new foundation to help athletes who have been blocked from competing for political reasons. #WeCompeteAsOne
— Nikita Mazepin (@nikita_mazepin) March 9, 2022
“Today I am announcing the creation of a new foundation to help athletes who have been blocked from competing for political reasons.”
This was followed by the hashtag ‘#WeCompeteAsOne’.
But fans weren’t so positive about this idea, arguing that the people of Ukraine are much more important right now.
“What about them…” a Twitter user said alongside a news article of a Ukranium 16-year-old Sambo champion and his family being killed in an airstrike.
Another added: “How about and hear me out on this Nikita. Maybe, use that money for you know helping Ukraine?”
A third simply said, “Jeremy was right”, quoting what Jeremy had said about the Russian only a week before: “Nikita Mazepin. You f*****g r****d. Go and race in Russia on your own. You’d still lose.”
Haas is now being sued by Uralkali – a company whose board of directors includes Mazepin’s father, Dmitry. after cancelling its sponsorship. It released the following statement:
“Uralkali intends to protect its interests in line with applicable legal procedures and reserves its rights to initiate judicial proceedings, claim damages and seek repayment of the significant amounts Uralkali had paid for the 2022 Formula One season.
“As most of the sponsorship funding for the 2022 season has already been transferred to Haas and given that the Team terminated the sponsorship agreement before the first race of the 2022 season, Haas has thus failed to perform its obligations to Uralkali for this year’s season.
“Uralkali shall request the immediate reimbursement of the amounts received by Haas.
“The refund from Haas and the remaining part of Uralkali’s sponsor financing for 2022 will be used to establish the We Compete As One athlete support foundation.”