SEPTEMBER 19, 2023
Mazepin's lawyer slams new European sanctions
The EU's European Council is still trying to thwart the Formula 1 aspirations of axed Haas racer Nikita Mazepin.
Haas ousted the Russian driver and the team's title sponsor Uralkali, headed by Mazepin's father Dmitry, at the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict early in 2022.
Separately, F1's governing FIA said Russian drivers would need to denounce their country in order to keep their careers alive, while the European Council imposed sanctions against the Mazepins.
However, 24-year-old Mazepin fought back at the European Court of Justice - with a judge subsequently ordering the EU to drop the sanctions.
But mere days ago, the European Council decided to re-impose the sanctions for a further six months - with the Court of Justice swiftly acting to overturn them once again in compliance with its earlier ruling.
Mazepin's lawyer Aaron Bass has now told Tass news agency in Russia that the European Union is abusing its powers by trying to penalise the driver against the wishes of the court.
The Council of the EU is abusing its powers to nullify the clear decisions of the President of the General Court, he said.
This is nothing short of a serious institutional crisis, Bass insisted.
And for what purpose? Only to impose sanctions based on fictitious charges and unrelated or non-existent evidence on a young athlete who, as the court found, is in no way involved either in the Ukrainian conflict or in a business that brings significant income to the Russian government, he added.
On March 2, and again at the end of July, the Court of Justice ruled that the European sanctions be dropped so that Mazepin can travel to Europe for negotiations with F1 teams.