Russian driver Nikita Mazepin has been sacked by the Haas team as a result of his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The US-based outfit have also terminated the contract of their title sponsor, the Russian chemicals company Uralkali.
Uralkali is part-owned by Mazepin’s billionaire father Dmitry, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, through his company Uralchem.
Haas said news on Mazepin’s replacement was expected early next week.
Among the drivers said to be under consideration are the team’s reserve Pietro Fittipaldi, who stood in for Romain Grosjean for two races at the end of 2020 after the Frenchman’s fiery accident in Bahrain, Indian Formula 2 driver Jehan Daruvala, and Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri, the reigning F2 champion.
Mazepin said he was “disappointed” to have his contract terminated and that his “willingness to accept the conditions proposed in order to continue were completely ignored”.
Haas said in their statement: “As with the rest of the Formula 1 community, the team is shocked and saddened by the invasion of Ukraine and wishes for a swift and peaceful end to the conflict.”
Mazepin’s departure from F1 had been expected since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
Dmitry Mazepin was one of a number of leading Russian businessmen invited to a meeting with Putin at the Kremlin hours after the invasion began.
Haas repainted their cars on 24 February, in the middle of the first Formula 1 pre-season test in Spain, to remove the red white and blue colours that had been on the car to represent the Russian flag since Mazepin joined at the start of 2021.
F1 cancelled this year’s Russian Grand Prix a day after the start of the invasion, and on Thursday tore up their contract for the race, signalling that the sport will not return to Russia at least until Putin is no longer in power.