Sacked Russian Formula One driver Nikita Mazepin has had assets including property worth more than £100million seized by Italian authorities.
The former Haas driver and his oligarch father Dmitry were sanctioned following Vladimir Putin’s savage invasion of Ukraine, days after he was dropped by his F1 team Haas.
Today, Italian financial police seized their luxury villa in the Portisco area of Olbia on the north east coast of Sardinia which has become a playground for wealthy Russians.
Sacked Russian Formula One driver Nikita Mazepin has had assets including property worth more than £100million seized by Italian authorities
Today, Italian financial police seized his property in the Portisco area of Olbia on the north east coast of Sardinia
An official said the property was in the name of the 23-year-old and his father who enjoys close ties with Putin.
The villa – called Rocky Ram – was bought in 2012 from an Italian newspaper editor and has 25 rooms plus beautifully sculpted gardens as well as a kidney shaped swimming pool.
It is set on a clifftop at the end of a road leading up from Portisco and has commanding views over the Mediterranean.
According to the Italian Financial Police it is owned by a company based in Cyprus called Ferimod Investments which was set up in 2009 but the ultimate beneficiary is Mazepin.
A spokesperson for the Italian Financial Police told MailOnline: ‘Following verifications on subjects that are part of the current European Union sanctions list, an impounding order was served on Dmitry Mazepin his and his son Nikita Mazepin, a driver with the Formula 1 team Haas until March 5, on a residential complex worth 105 million Euro and traceable to both through an overseas company.’
Billionaire oligarch Dmitry was a significant stakeholder in the former Haas sponsor Uralkali, a fertiliser producer.
Billionaire oligarch Dmitry was a significant stakeholder in the former Haas sponsor Uralkali, a fertiliser producer. Pictured with Putin in 2017
He is described on a European Union sanctions list as ‘a member of the closest circle of Putin and attended a meeting with the Russian President on February 24, the day Russia’s invasion began, to ‘discuss the impact of the course of action in the wake of Western sanctions’.
It is the second time that Italian authorities have impounded assets in Portisco – last month £97million of property in the picturesque coastal town belonging to Russia’s richest man Alexei Mordashov, 56, was also seized.
At the same time his £54million 215ft yacht the Lady M was held in Imperia.
Last week Nikita said in an interview: ‘I don’t agree with being in sanctions and I’ve said previously that I intend to fight it.
‘Perhaps now is not the right time because if you look at the whole situation that’s happening against athletes in the general case, it’s cancel culture against my country.’
An official said the property was in the name of the 23-year-old and his father who enjoys close ties with Putin
It is set on a clifftop at the end of a road leading up from Portisco and has commanding views over the Mediterranean
When asked about apparent atrocities committed by Russian forces, having earlier said that he wanted to keep his position private, he said it was ‘very painful to watch that on many levels’.
The former F1 driver – who finished last in the 2021 standings without scoring a point – said there were ‘risks’ in expressing his opinion about the war in Ukraine.
He added: ‘I see tremendous risks in saying anything at all about this case because I will never satisfy everyone and therefore I will keep myself publicly quiet.
‘Regardless of what you say or do there is an army of critics waiting to parse every one of my words, every single thing you do.’
Instead of driving for Haas, Nikita is now working on his recently-launched foundation – We Compete As One – to support sanctioned Russian athletes, saying it was ‘taking up a lot of time’.
Speaking at the foundation’s launch in March, he said: ‘The whole reason I made this foundation is because I value that people, all people, have the right to stay neutral.’
‘Whether they are athletes or people from other industries, that doesn’t matter. So this is my position and I will not be adding anything.’
In the last month Italian authorities have seized property and assets of Russians totalling just under £800million – with the most expensive being a £444million yacht belonging to Andrey Melnichenko which was held in the port of Trieste.
Other targeted Russians include former Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov, Vladimir Soloviev, Gennady Timchenko, Oleg Savchenko and Petr Aven.