Mazepin confident F1's Russian GP will go ahead despite Ukraine conflict

Haas Formula 1 driver Nikita Mazepin still believes the race in Sochi later this year will go ahead as scheduled despite the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Nikita Mazepin (RUS) Haas F1 Team VF-22.
Nikita Mazepin (RUS) Haas F1 Team VF-22.

On Thursday morning, Russia's president Vladimir Putin authorised a ‘special military operation’ in the east of Ukraine, ordering forces and firing missiles in several cities.

As a result, sanctions have been put on Russia, while other sporting events such as the UEFA Champions League Final - which is set to take place in Saint Petersberg, could be moved to an alternative location.

F1 is set to race in Russia on September 23-25 at the Sochi Autodrom and home hero Mazepin remains confident the race will go ahead.

“From the understanding that we’ve had with Formula 1, and race is going ahead and you will surely see me there,” Mazepin said on Wednesday in Barcelona.

Mazepin was in F1 action for Haas on Wednesday as pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya got underway.

He will be back in action again on Thursday afternoon in the VF-22.

Despite the unrest involving his home country, Mazepin insisted that it’s not proving to be a distraction.

“I’m not struggling at all, because I’ve always been a big supporter of sports without politics,” he added.

“And today I’m in Barcelona, I cannot tell you the excitement of driving the new car and the excitement of actually being involved in developing this new car and actually from seeing the pictures for a year and then seeing it in physical carbon copy of the pictures is great.

“So I’m just very happy to be in Barcelona and I hope these three days are longer because it’s a nice experience.”

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