Nikita Mazepin, who spent the 2021 Formula 1 season racing for the Haas team, has teased a return to competition.
Mazepin was dropped ahead of the 2022 season following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
At the time, Haas had a title sponsorship deal in place with Russian company Uralkali, which is owned by Mazepin’s father Dmitry.
Midway through pre-season testing, Mazepin and Uralkali were ditched by Haas, while Kevin Magnussen was brought back to the organisation.
Mazepin recently competed in the Silk Way Rally, but is eyeing up a seat in a bigger competition in the near future.
“I did that out of pleasure and fortunately the pleasure led to victory,” he told Russian outlet Tass, as quoted by Crash.net.
“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.
“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.
“There is the desire, of course, to continue to compete in motorsport. My goal is to return to Formula 1 so that is the direction I will work in.”
Mazepin has previously highlighted that he will not abandon the Russian flag to race in an FIA competition, as it is currently prohibited to do so amid the ongoing war.
Speaking recently to Speedcafe, Haas team boss Guenther Steiner said that his squad had no choice but to part ways with Mazepin after Russia’s move on Ukraine.
“We couldn’t take any other decision after the invasion of Ukraine,” he said. “I think looking back, I think we did the right thing. But no, it didn’t have any impact [financially].
“It certainly impacted the beginning [of the 2022 season]. There was a lot of work to be done to get back to where we wanted to be. But otherwise, once we got racing in Bahrain, you see how fast life in F1 is.
“There was never looking back, just let’s get the best out of it. We’ve got an opportunity. It was a challenge. But the challenge gave us an opportunity. Let’s focus on that and let’s keep going.”