Hitech GP face allegations that Russian oligarch Dmitry Mazepin is found to be secretly financing the team, which could see their application to enter Formula 1 rejected.
The suggestion that Mazepin, who sponsored Haas through his Uralkali company in 2021, is backing the Hitech GP project comes from suspicious teams – as reported by AMuS.
The teams allege that Vladimir Kim, who recently bought a 25 percent stake in the project, is actually being funded by Mazepin – who is banned from competing in F1 due to European Union sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
The business magnate is closely associated with Vladimir Putin and had meetings with the Russian President prior to the outbreak of war, and in response faced sanctions due to the association.
The oligarch would likely be trying to buy entry into the sport back for his son, Nikita Mazepin, who Haas wasted no time in getting rid of after an abysmal 2021 campaign, in which he was often nearly a minute down on his teammate Mick Schumacher.
It is unclear if this is simply a tactic cooked up in order to block another team from joining F1 by taking another slice of the revenue pie away from the 10 current competitors.
Nikita Mazepin was riddled with controversy, from his driving standards in Formula 2 in 2020 – which fellow competitors found to be over the limit.
Prior to starting his F1 career, a video emerged in which he appeared to grope a woman in a car and in F1 he was often irritating other drivers by not respecting blue flags, including at the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix and the 2021 Portuguese GP.
Mazepin’s best finish was 14th at the Azerbaijan GP, which was still not without controversy as he made a dangerous defensive manoeuvre that Schumacher claimed was an attempt to kill him.