Start, F2 sprint race, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Mazepin given four penalty points and 15-place grid drop for causing huge F2 crash

Formula 2

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The stewards delivered a stinging verdict on Nikita Mazepin’s driving as they gave him four penalty points and a 15-place grid penalty for causing today’s F2 crash.

The ART driver has been given a 15-place grid drop for the next round of the championship, in Abu Dhabi.

Mazepin collided with Jack Aitken in the run-off area after both went wide at turn two on the first lap. The impact sent Mazepin’s car into the side of Nobuharu Matsushita, who then had a heavy impact with the barrier.

Both drivers were taken to hospital, though neither has any serious injuries. As a result Mazepin was unable to attend the hearing.

After speaking to Aitken and examining footage of the incident, the stewards held Mazepin responsible for the collision.

“Having considered the matter extensively, the stewards determined that car one [Louis Deletraz] arrived at the entrance of turn two at an excessively high rate of speed and unable to negotiate the corner on the track. Car three [Mazepin] then forced car 15 [Aitken] off the track.

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“After both cars left the track, car 15 successfully negotiated the Styrofoam blocks in the runoff area, as directed by the race director’s notes. Car three did not follow that same directed path, thereby short cutting the runoff area, resulting in a collision with first car 15 and then car two [Matsushita], resulting in car two’s retirement and causing a red flag in the race.

“Car three is judged wholly at fault for the incident.”

In addition to his penalty, Mazepin was given four penalty points on his licence, putting him on a total of five.

“Because, in the opinion of the stewards, the driver of car three caused this incident by a total lack of due care for his fellow drivers and caused a bad incident that could have been much worse, the unusually large number of grid positions in the penalty and the large number of penalty points are assessed,” the stewards added.

In another incident Mahaveer Raghunathan, who has already served a one-event ban this year, was given another penalty point for failing to rejoin the track correctly at turn two. He is now on nine penalty points, three away from earning a second ban.

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    14 comments on “Mazepin given four penalty points and 15-place grid drop for causing huge F2 crash”

    1. Aitken not at fault ? Cmon man ….

      1. @nesarajah
        Aitken rejoined correctly by going left of all the bollards. Mazepin did not, cutting the first two to race Aitken back to the track. Aitken would not know Mazepin was there, as there is only room for one car between the wall and the first bollard.
        Also the stewards determined that Mazepin forced Aitken into the run off in the first place, so can’t see what more Aitken could have done?

      2. That’s a weird penalty, Aitken clipped him from behind and sent him into Matsushita, even if Mazepin didn’t follow the appointed “return to track” rule, he certainly didn’t cause the accident by himself.

      3. Aitken didn’t do anything wrong. He was outside of the pin wheel and didn’t have any other option as he was blocked by Mazepin; he quickly realized he was not going to make the corner and continued correctly to the approved alternative route and did not drive over the orange stripe. He didn’t have to brake if he was able to correctly go around the bollards an re-enter the track safely.
        Not saying Aitken was smart being where he was but the big difference between the two was that Mazepin was completely out of control with no options other than to brake; he didn’t and re-entered the track in a unsafe manor with blazing speed, Aitken was in control and was able to bail out in the approved route and re-entered track to far left out of the race line of oncoming cars however he would would likely had to give back a couple of places as it was a clear gain in order to avoid a time penalty, he had mechanical issues that forced him to give up those positions and then some.

        The key issue is that Mazepin did not slow down at all and re-entered the track recklessly at full speed and not in control into another car causing injury. He’s lucky he didn’t get a race ban considering one of his fellow race driver was killed two races ago.

      4. No Aitken not at fault, there is no rule about a minumum speed in the runoff only to go left of the bollards.

        Completely Mazepin’s fault for seeing him with a clear trajectory and rage-booting it through the wrong side of the bollards.

        Correct decision. ART should also pay compensation for the damage.

    2. I’d say that’s very harsh. They should give extra consideration that it’s the start of the race, chaos and it’s natural that the first thing on a driver’s mind if they’ve gone off is probably not to drive around some arbitrarily placed bollards. Anyway, Aitken didn’t cover himself in glory by trying to speed up and take advantage. If they found Mazepin at fault it should at least be 60/40 and not solely on him I’d say.

      1. Sadly there is no rule that says a driver has to slow down while going through these bollards, he just cannot gain an advantage, which Aitken would not have done. So I cannot see how Aitken did anything wrong.

        I think the penalty for Mazepin is not harsh enough. That was incredibly dangerous and stupid, I expected a race ban.

        The FIA has to change procedure. In a run-off with this much space cars must be mandated to stop before rejoining the track. If they do not, then they have to be excluded from the race.

        1. @uzsjgb Just because there’s no rule against it doesn’t mean it’s safe.

          Aitken didn’t slow down though. I don’t think what Mazepin did was ‘incredibly dangerous and stupid’, we saw plenty of people going off there and not going through the bollards, it just so happened that he and Aitken met at an inopportune moment. I think both could have done more to avoid it and while Mazepin deserved a penalty, it is very harsh.

        2. By reading this comment, I came to the conclusion that asphalt run-offs should be removed, because no matter how I see, it seem obvious to me that the one who played bowling was aitken, but by invoking whatever rule is in effect, the one that looks the one being hit, becomes the culprit.

          Explain that to the spectators

    3. Should’ve been at least one race ban.

    4. Another example of poor driving standards in F2, and of total disregard to fellow drivers.

      Until stewards start banning drivers, they will not learn.
      I don’t know why, probably because they are stupid.

      Thankfully no one died today.

      1. That’s because F2 is a rich kindergarten. And this is an absolute absurd. A racing series right next to F1 is still a kindergarten. Kids shouldn’t be allowed over F4, while F2 should be for mature drivers who can’t find a place in F1. Second division. Not a playground for rich kids.

    5. I only saw a short clip of this accident. But the 1st thing that came to my mind was it couldn’t have happened with proper gravel run off.

      These guys didn’t slow down at all off track

    6. Mazepin absolutely deserved a race ban (for one or more races) imho. What he did was dangerous and totally irresponsible.

      Imho he raced Aitken (who was in front) on the run-off, and deliberately passed on the wrong side of the bollard just to not lose a position. The clash with Aitken (and thus with Matsushita) is 100% his fault.

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