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5 Jun, 2021 15:02

Service disruption: Formula One driver Nikita Mazepin’s Haas racing career could be halted by Russian army call, says his father

Service disruption: Formula One driver Nikita Mazepin’s Haas racing career could be halted by Russian army call, says his father

Russian Formula One rookie Nikita Mazepin's participation in future races is under threat after he was told that he will have to attend regular training camps as part of military service, his father and team backer has revealed.

New Haas driver Mazepin, 22, could have to carry out 12 months of mandatory military service in common with men aged between 18 and 27 in Russia, his father, Dmitry, has admitted.

That would almost certainly cause a scheduling nightmare with the busy Formula One calendar, which involves 23 Grand Prix weekends this year.

“Nikita has 23 races, and they tell him that he needs to join the army," Mazepin senior, who is the majority shareholder at team partners Uralkali, told the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

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“They told him he had to be present at the training camp regularly. There would be no exceptions.

"He has a race every two weeks. How does he do it? Who do I ask this question to?

“And I’m not talking about Nikita Mazepin alone but about everyone: athletes and professionals in the same situation. The issue of education and sports is relevant."

Failing to carry out military service is a felony punishable by up to two years' impisonment under Russian law, although exceptions include rural doctors and teachers and men with very young children.

The development could present a new concern for Haas after a difficult start to a season in which they are hoping to recover from successive campaigns ending in record low points totals.

Neither Mazepin nor teammate Mick Schumacher – the son of F1 legend Michael – have scored a point yet, with the Russian spinning out on the first lap of his debut race, which finished with Schumacher last of the finishing cars.

Mazepin finished slightly ahead of Schumacher at last month's Monaco Grand Prix, although they were the final two drivers to finish.

That was also the case in qualification for this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Mazepin finishing 18th, behind Schumacher in 17th.

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