Court gives green light for Mazepin’s F1 return
"I am pleased with the court’s decision"
Nikita Mazepin has been given the green light by Europe’s court of justice to return to Formula 1.
At the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, the Russian driver and his sponsor Uralkali were ousted from Haas and the sport.
The 24-year-old took his case to the Court of Justice of the European Union - and on Thursday it emerged that he has won.
According to the court, Mazepin is still "subject to restrictive measures", but he will be allowed to re-enter the continent of Europe "negotiate his employment as a professional Formula 1 driver".
Tass news agency said one of the only conditions is that any potential sponsors cannot be "related to the activities of Dmitry Mazepin", who was specifically listed in anti-Russian sanctions.
"I am pleased with the court’s decision, which gives me hope for a return to international motorsport," the Russian news agency Ria Novosti quotes Mazepin as saying.
"I will do my best to catch up and look forward to returning to the cause to which I devoted most of my life."
On the same day as the court’s ruling, Hungary’s foreign affairs minister Peter Szijjarto called for the more widespread lifting of sanctions on Russians like Mazepin.
"We suffered under the communist regime," he said, "so we know what it was like when children are held responsible for what their parents did or didn’t do.
"So my question is: why are we putting a Formula 1 driver on the sanctions list because of suspicions about his father’s connections with the Russian government?"