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Former F1 driver wins sanctions challenge
Nikita Mazepin (Pic: Shutterstock)

20 Mar 2024 / cjeu Print

Former F1 driver wins sanctions challenge

An EU court has ruled that a former Formula One (F1) motor-racing driver should be removed from a list of people subject to EU sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nikita Mazepin, who formerly drove for the Haas F1 team, was included in an EU Council list of people subject to restrictive measures in March 2022.

His inclusion on that list was based on the association with his father, Dmitry Mazepin, a leading businessperson involved in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the Russian Government.

According to the Council, Dmitry Mazepin was the major sponsor, through the companies to which he is linked, of his son's activities as a driver in the Haas F1 Team.

As a result of the measures against Nikita Mazepin, his funds were frozen, and he was prohibited from entering the territory of EU member states.

Link ‘beyond family’

The General Court of the European Union today (20 March) upheld his challenge to the measures and annulled the acts that kept him on the list of targeted persons.

The court found that the 'association' criterion applied in Nikita Mazepin’s case “implies the existence of a link going beyond a family relationship”, that should be established in the light of “sufficiently specific, precise, and consistent” indicators.

The judges found that, in this case, the EU Council did not establish such a link.

‘Not sufficient’

“The association between Mr Nikita Mazepin and his father is in no way established from an economic or capital perspective, or by the existence of common interests linking them at the time when the maintaining acts were adopted,” they found.

The court noted that Niikita Mazepin had not driven for the Haas 1 team since March 2022.

It concluded that the measures against him were based solely on the family connection, which was “not sufficient”.

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