Haas F1 team fires Russian driver Nikita Mazepin after ending Uralkali sponsorship

Mazepin fired Haas
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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Russian driver Nikita Mazepin was fired by Haas F1 despite the FIA ruling he could compete in Formula One races under a neutral flag.

Haas also ended its sponsorship with Uralkali, the Russian fertilizer company owned by Mazepin’s father. Dmitry Mazepin is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his son’s contract to drive was linked to the team sponsorship.

“As with the rest of the Formula 1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict,” Haas said in a statement Saturday.

Formula One earlier this week terminated its contract with the Russian GP. The race in Sochi was contracted through 2025.

That put the spotlight on Haas, an American team entering its seventh season of F1 competition. Haas last year overhauled its lineup and added rookies Mazepin and Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher.

Haas removed the Uralkali sponsorship markings from its cars last week following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Mazepin’s status remained uncertain. The FIA ruled Friday all drivers must agree to its principles of peace and neutrality and “acknowledge the strong commitment made by the FIA to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”

Mazepin posted on Twitter he had agreed to the stipulations and was disappointed in Haas’ decision.

“While I understand the difficulties, the ruling from FIA plus my ongoing willingness to accept the conditions proposed in order to continue were completely ignored and no process was followed in this unilateral step,” Mazepin wrote.

“I have treasured my time in F1 and genuinely hope we can all be together again in better times.”

Haas did not announce a replacement for Mazepin, who turned 23 earlier this week. He did not score a point last season and was derisively referred to as “Mazespin” for his propensity to bring out the caution flag.

He also nearly lost his ride before his debut after being disciplined by the team for an apparent harassment video.

Pietro Fittipaldi, the grandson of two-time F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi, is the reserve driver for Haas. He competed in two races for Haas in 2020 as the replacement for injured driver Romain Grosjean.

The 25-year-old was born in Miami and holds dual citizenship in Brazil and the United States. Fittipaldi, who lives in North Carolina not far from Haas’ primary headquarters, ran three IndyCar races last season. He was in Abu Dhabi for the F1 season finale when Mazepin tested positive for COVID-19, but Fittipaldi was not eligible to replace him in the car because he’d not been on track that weekend.

F1 testing continues in Bahrain next week. The season opens March 20 in Bahrain.

Saturday’s Supercross Round 5 in Houston: How to watch, start times, streaming info

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The championship race has tightened up as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, for Round 5 of the 2023 season.

With his 450 victory in the Anaheim Triple Crown, Chase Sexton has moved within four points of two-time and defending series champion Eli Tomac.

Jason Anderson is coming off a second place in Anaheim after crashing out of the first two rounds while racing in the top five. Ken Roczen earned his first podium last week since the 2022 season opener and the first for Suzuki since Chad Reed at Detroit in 2019.

Here are the pertinent details for watching Round 5 of the 2023 Supercross schedule at NRG Stadium in Houston on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023:


(All times are ET)

BROADCAST/STREAMING SCHEDULE: TV coverage of Round 5 will begin Saturday at 8 p.m. ET streaming on Peacock and will re-air Monday, Feb. 6 at 1 a.m. on CNBC. The Race Day Live show (including qualifying) will begin on Peacock at 2:30 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports will have exclusive live coverage of races, qualifiers and heats for the record 31 events in SuperMotocross. The main events will be presented on Peacock, NBC, USA Network, CNBC, and NBC Sports digital platforms.

Peacock will become the home of the SuperMotocross World Championship series in 2023 with live coverage of all races, qualifying, and heats from January to October. There will be 23 races livestreamed exclusively on Peacock, including a SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff event. The platform also will provide on-demand replays of every race.

ENTRY LISTS: 450 division l 250 division

EVENT SCHEDULE (all times ET):

Here are the start times for Saturday, according to the Monster Energy Supercross schedule from the AMA:

2:05-2:15 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 1
2:20-2:30 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 1
2:35-2:45 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 1
2:50-3 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 1
3:05-3:15 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 1
3:20-3:30 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 1
4:20-4:30 p.m.: 250SX Group C Qualifying 2
4:35-4:45 p.m.: 250SX Group B Qualifying 2
4:50-5 p.m.: 250SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:05-5:15 p.m.: 450SX Group A Qualifying 2
5:20-5:30 p.m.: 450SX Group B Qualifying 2
5:35-5:45 p.m.: 450SX Group C Qualifying 2
8:06 p.m.: 250SX Heat 1
8:20 p.m.: 250SX Heat 2
8:34 p.m.: 450SX Heat 1
8:48 p.m.: 450SX Heat 2
9:22 p.m.: 250SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:33 p.m.: 450SX Last Chance Qualifier
9:53 p.m.: 250SX Main Event
10:27 p.m.: 450SX Main Event

TRACK LAYOUT:

Click here to view the track map

HOW TO WATCH SUPERMOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON IN 2023Full NBC Sports, Peacock schedule

FINAL 2022 STANDINGS: 450 points standings | 250 East points standings250 West points standings


2023 SEASON RECAPS

ROUND 1: Eli Tomac opens title defense with victory

ROUND 2: Oakland postponed by storms

ROUND 3: Tomac holds off Cooper Webb again

ROUND 4: Chase Sexton wins Anaheim Triple Crown


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