Rookie Formula One driver Nikita Mazepin’s future in the sport is under serious threat, his billionaire father has confirmed.
Mazepin has underwhelmed in his first season in the sport, failing to finish in the points in any of the opening six rounds of this season’s Championship.
The Russian spun out of his first race, with his highest finish being 17 th place in the latest round at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Mazepin has come under fire from many pundits for not appearing to be ready to make the step up into Formula One, with the 22-year-old struggling to get to grips with his Haas car.
The Russian earned a seat in the top level of motorsport in large thanks to his billionaire father Dmitry sponsoring the team through his Uralkali fertiliser company.
That led to criticism from many supporters and pundits that Mazepin would merely prove to be a danger to his fellow drivers.
But his critics’ wishes may be answered in the near-future, with the Haas driver coming under pressure to return to Russia to complete his mandatory one-year’s service in the military.
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Serving in one of the branches of the Russian military is mandatory for all male citizens aged 18 to 27, though there are several exemptions.
But avoiding serving is a felony under the Russian criminal code and is punishable by up to two years of imprisonment.
And Mazepin’s father has now revealed that his son is at serious risk of being called up and having to drop out of Formula One.
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“Nikita has 23 races to do this year, and they are telling him that he needs to join the army. You need to go to the training camp” he said.
“He said to me, ‘Dad, what should I do? I have a race every two weeks’. Nobody wants to listen. But it’s not just about Nikita Mazepin, but everyone else who is in the same situation.”
Mazepin qualified 18 th for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
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