What a difference a few days make. F1 testing has wrapped up and from where we were on day 1 to where we are now, a lot has changed. Scary times are ahead of us and the world of Formula 1 is not immune to the European Political turmoil. But one person in particular is being affected more than others and that's the only Formula 1 Russian driver on the grid, Nikita 'Give Dem Titties A Squeeze' Mazepin.
Look, I love raining down shit on Mazepin as much as the next person, in fact it's one of my favourite thing to do, but right now things are difficult for the young driver. For those of you that are living under a rock or new to Formula 1, Nikita Mazepin is what we call a 'pay driver' as in their rich daddy paid for them to have a seat in F1 by donating a lot of money to a team. Teams need money, cars are expensive to run, logistics aren't cheap, staff aren't cheap, rich people want to feel involved and some, instead of buying their son an island or superyacht, buy them an F1 team.
Now a few things you need to know about Haas, they are an American team, yea I know, I'm shocked too, and you wouldn't be able to tell just by looking at them, dawning the Red White and Blue, but make no mistake about it, this team is as Russian as they come. I mean, their cars weren't rushin', their cars are the slowest going around, but the Red White and Blue horizontally, with a Russian Driver and sponsored by Uralkali, a lucrative Mining and exporting company which is Russian and Mazepin's father holds 20% ownership of them, made them the Russian team on the grid.
But Vladimir Putin had to go ahead and do some Vladimir Putin kinda things and ruin it for everyone else. He's decided to invade the Ukraine, essentially starting World War 3, and as a result and rightly so Formula 1 are trying to distance themselves from Russia. Even going as far as announcing already that the Russian GP would be cancelled this season. Although countries that drown themselves in controversy and have a horrible track record when it comes to human rights isn't usually a deterrent for the FIA, as long as the cash flow is there, they'll make sure they visit once a year. I'm looking at you Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Haas decided it's probably a good PR move for the team with already, the most hated driver to distance themselves from Russia also, painting over the Russian sponsorship on their garage and trucks and removing it completely from the team cars. If Uralkali are removed as a sponsor from Haas, then there is no need to Dmitry Mazepin to pump millions and millions into the team. I mean there was a benefit for doing that, not only to get his son a seat, but for the world to see Uralkali plastered everywhere. Remember, cash is king and if cash is coming into Haas from Mazepin, then he holds no benefit to the team, unless he is actually a good F1 driver...... well no only can he not fucking drive, I believe Helen Keller would've given him a run for his money.
So it's time to start singing Sam Smith, because the writing is on the wall for this Russian driver. He may be shown the door before the season has even started, which then means, what next for Haas, who do they bring in. There is no point in firing Nikita Mazepin if there is no one to replace him. Well that isn't an issue either, being Formula 1, there are only 20 positions in the whole sport, and hundreds and hundreds wanting a shot at it. Antonio Giovinazzi or Pietro Fittipaldi are the two reserve drivers for the Haas F1 team.
But I'm thinking outside the box here. With no cash flow coming in and America desperately needing an F1 team and drivers in the sport, especially with the huge influence Drive To Survive has had on the US market, why doesn't Michael Andretti and Andretti Autosport pull the trigger. They are planning on coming into the sport anyway in the next couple of years, why not now, one not profit from war, as horrible as it is, it's the best time to pounce in the opportunity presented itself.
Look, that's a discussion for another day, but as it stands now, Mazepin's career is on life support and can see it being moved to hospice soon enough. He's being led to the executioners chair and it's now finally time for his luck in Formula 1 to reflect his talent. I'm never happy to see someone's career be over in F1, but I feel he was never really ready, he wasn't having a great time with it and it looked like it was his dad living through his son, watching his son achieve the dreams that he once had.
I'm frustrated because he hasn't really said much about what's going on, in fact he has only released a statement a few hours ago. 'To my fans and followers - it's a difficult time and I am not in control over a lot of what is being said and done. I'm choosing to focus on what I CAN control by working hard and doing my best for my Haas F1 Team. My deepest thanks for your understanding and support.'
He is in control of what he can say, and what he can do. I know he's probably getting invited to parties in Putin's mansion, but if Mazepin took a stand, he would significantly earn a lot of respect from not only myself but a lot of people in the sport.
Still, won more F2 races than Norris.