(GMM) Nikita Mazepin could be preparing for his return to circuit-based premier motor racing in February.
The Russian, ousted by Haas along with his controversial father and sponsor Dmitry (Uralkali) over the Ukraine conflict, won in his category in the Russian Silk Way Rally in November.
And according to Endurance-Info, the 23-year-old will take part in the forthcoming Asian Le Mans Series championship in February.
Mazepin will reportedly join new entrant 99 Racing for the two endurance races in February – the first in Dubai and the second in Abu Dhabi.
The Asian Le Mans series is organized by Le Mans sanctioning body the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
Mazepin is not yet confirming the news.
“I plan to compete in a new discipline outside of Russia,” he told the Russian source Championat.
“I hope that it will be possible to talk more specifically about it in January.”
Mazepin has denied that his next venture will be the Dakar Rally.
“Too difficult,” he said. “There are a lot of problems there and it simply makes no sense to list them all.”
The 23-year-old is also still not ruling out an eventual return to Formula 1.
“I had a plan this year to perform better than Mick (Schumacher),” said Mazepin. “But I really do not like these conversations, when you have to talk about hypotheticals.
“But if you look at the final day of testing in Barcelona, my last day in Formula 1, I was faster than him. Would it have worked out over the whole season?
“I hope to put everything in its right place in the future,” he added.
November 24, 2022
(GMM) Nikita Mazepin says he hasn’t abandoned his dream of racing in Formula 1.
The Russian and his father’s company were expelled by the Haas team at the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict.
Since then, 23-year-old Mazepin has insisted that he would not return if it means agreeing with the FIA’s rules about denouncing Vladimir Putin’s regime.
He filled some of his time in 2022 at the wheel of a rally-raid machine, and even won on debut in the Russian rally Silk Way.
“I did that out of pleasure and fortunately the pleasure led to victory,” Mazepin told Tass news agency.
“But I don’t see myself as a professional rally driver. Silk Way is a wonderful competition but for a non-rally driver to really prepare, you’d have to put everything else aside.”
He is coy about his plans for 2023.
“I believe that I have a certain social mission that I am engaged in, and it brings me great pleasure,” said Mazepin, referring to his support for athletes like him who are sidelined for political reasons.
“Next year I will also compete for myself in a new discipline outside of our country, but so far there are no signatures. So, I can’t tell you about it,” he insisted.
What he does hope, however, is that it will be one step on the road back to Formula 1.
“There is the desire, of course, to continue to compete in motorsport,” said Mazepin.
“My goal is to return to Formula 1 so that is the direction I will work in.”