The American outfit is currently seeking a full-time replacement for Mazepin, who was sacked in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, for the upcoming 2022 F1 season. 

Haas also terminated the contract of its title sponsor Uralkali, a Russian chemicals company part-owned by Mazepin’s billionaire father Dmitry, a close ally of Putin. 

Speaking at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, owner Gene Haas told the Associated Press that the relationship between the Haas F1 team and its Russian sponsor and driver became untenable following “a lot of intense criticism about the Ukrainian invasion” that was “getting overwhelming.”

Haas confirmed his team will run reserve driver Fittipaldi during this week’s second pre-season test in Bahrain but indicated a more experienced candidate will be brought in to partner Mick Schumacher for the long term. 

“We’re in the process of looking at several candidates,” Haas said.  

“We’ll see who is available and what we have to deal with, but we’ll have somebody by Wednesday. Pietro will definitely be in it, that’s what he’s for, he’s the test driver.

“I think we’d obviously like to get someone with a bit more actual experience. We just have to see what’s available.”

Fittipaldi, the grandson of two-time F1 world champion Emerson, previously raced for Haas when he stood in for the injured Romain Grosjean for two races at the end of 2020. 

The 25-year-old Brazilian would be a straightforward replacement for Mazepin in the short term given his contract as the team’s official reserve driver. 

Drivers under consideration for the vacant 2022 Haas seat are understood to include ex-Alfa Romeo driver and Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi and Alpine’s reigning Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri. 

After running its VF-22 in a plain white livery for the final day of the opening F1 test at Barcelona, the Haas Automation logos are set to feature on the team’s rebranded car in Bahrain. 

“Haas has always been the major, primary sponsor, I don’t know why people said it became a Russian team. Haas Automation was always on the car,” said Haas, who reiterated the future of his F1 team is financially secure. 

“We’re good, we’re fine,” he added. “We’d like more money, of course, but we’re fine. This just gives us a bigger negative number.”