Former Haas Formula 1 team driver Nikita Mazepin, has had property of about £100 million seized by the Italian government.
Due to their ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who ordered the invasion of Ukraine, Nikita Mazepin and his tycoon father Dmitry Mazepin were sanctioned.
Russia’s aggressive invasion on Ukraine initiated the addition of the Mazepin family to the European Union’s sanctioned Russians list in early March.
On the day the invasion began, Dmitry Mazepin, the chairman of UralKali, a massive state-owned fertiliser firm, was summoned for a one-on-one meeting with Putin.
UralKali was once the title sponsor of American-owned Formula One team Haas, who also engaged his son Nikita as a driver for the 2021 season, but both contracts were unexpectedly terminated ahead of the 2022 season once the invasion had begun.
In an attempt to separate themselves from the 22-year-old and his notorious family, Haas replaced Mazepin with veteran driver Kevin Magnussen.
Investigators have now targeted the family’s Rocky Ram estate in Sardinia, according to Italian police sources. The Italian government is said to have seized around one billion euros in property from affluent Russians with ties to the Kremlin in recent weeks.
A superyacht worth more than half a billion dollars, owned by fertiliser and coal billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko and impounded in the port of Trieste, is one of them.
Mazepin’s Formula One seat was practically paid for by his father – he would not have been considered talented enough for a promotion to F1 if it hadn’t been for the large monetary injection he brought to Haas, which had fallen to the bottom of the grid since joining the sport in 2016.
In 2021, Nikita Mazepin had a humiliating first season in Formula One, spending the bulk of the season significantly behind the pace of the rest of the field and regularly spinning off. He also put rivals in perilous situations by failing to get out of the way quickly enough when blue flags were raised.
Since Putin initiated his onslaught on Ukraine, Russia has become a sporting and cultural pariah.
FIFA and UEFA have barred Russian teams from competing in football tournaments, including the World Cup, and the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sochi slated for September has been cancelled, as has Russia’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest this year.