Former Haas driver Nikita Mazepin has said he will race in a category outside of Russia in 2023 as he looks for a way back to Formula 1.
Mazepin moved from Formula 2 to F1 for the 2021 season, but with his father’s company striking a title sponsorship deal with Haas, Mazepin struggled to convince most he was in the series on merit .
The Haas VF-21 didn’t help his cause either, comfortably the slowest car on the 2021 grid, while Mazepin also struggled to take on rookie teammate Mick Schumacher for much of the campaign.
He was due to stay with Haas for 2022, but the team severed ties with Mazepins in pre-season, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Mazepin’s racing commitments since then limited to the Silk Way Rally 2022, which he won in the SSV category. .
But rally driving is not something he plans to commit to full-time, and indeed he has claimed he will return to competition outside the country in 2023, but in a capacity that he cannot reveal yet.
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And the 23-year-old certainly hasn’t given up on his ambition to be a Formula 1 driver again in the future.
“I did it for fun and luckily the fun led to victory,” Mazepin told the Russian news agency as quoted by Crash.net. CASSin reference to his victory in the Silk Way Rally category.
“But I don’t see myself as a professional rally driver. The Silk Way is a great competition but for a non-rally driver to really prepare, you would have to put everything else aside.
“I will also be competing for myself in a new discipline outside our country, but so far there are no signings. So I can’t tell you about it.
“There is the desire, of course, to continue to compete in motorsport. My objective is to return to Formula 1, so that’s the direction I will be working in.”
Haas have made a further change to their 2023 F1 roster, with the team deciding to drop Schumacher in favor of compatriot Nico Hulkenberg, with Haas believing experience is key if they are to continue progressing after a much improved 2022 campaign.
Moving from last place in 2021 to eighth in the 2022 Constructors’ Championship, Haas scored 37 points with none the previous season when Mazepin and Schumacher were driving for the team.
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