F2 driver under investigation after knocking marker board towards rival

Formula 2

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Formula 2 driver Nikita Mazepin is under investigation after knocking the second place marker board over at the end of today’s feature race.

The board fell in the direction of rival Yuki Tsunoda, who was celebrating his victory in the race. Tsunoda’s win was confirmed when Mazepin was given a five-second time penalty for an incident between the pair.

Mazepin, who crossed the line in first place, learned of his penalty while driving back to the pits. Tsunoda arrived at parc ferme before him and parked his car by the number one board. Mazepin then arrived and knocked the board over, which landed close to Tsunoda.

After the race Mazepin said he was annoyed about the stewards’ decision to penalise him for forcing Tsunoda off the track at Les Combes. His rival was trying to overtake him around the outside at the time.

Mazepin was also given a five-second time penalty at the previous round in Spain for failing to rejoin the track correctly after going off, which dropped him from third to 13th.

The board landed next to Tsunoda
“Another feature race ended with a decision that you can go two ways about,” he said. “You can sort of say, yes, it happened and that’s the only way I can do it.

“But I am going to be honest, I’m getting a little bit annoyed with that because it seems like there’s two types of racing going on, on-track and off-track.

“I have finished third last weekend, I finished first this weekend. No one can take it away from me.

“I have stayed on my racing line and used exactly the same bit of the track that I used every other lap. And I didn’t see a reason to move out of it because I was in front and I’m entitled to use the track that I want to by the rules. And if the stewards keep going like this there is going to be no racing on track.”

Mazepin is also under investigation over his exit from his pit box during the race. He was summoned to see the stewards for driving his car past members of the Trident team “in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous”.

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Keith Collantine
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20 comments on “F2 driver under investigation after knocking marker board towards rival”

  1. Honestly, Mazepin did an amazing race and his defending was top-notch. Very unfair stewarding decision, it was not even an incident, and only Tsunoda’s crying on the radio made it into one. This was not a fair win, Mazepin was under no obligation to give him room into the corner. Terrible situation and I fully understand the tantrums.

    1. I mean, any driver being forced off of the track is going to say something on the radio in the heat of it. If Tsunoda really was ‘crying’ about it, he’d have complained the first time too, but he knew that the first time he wasn’t alongside enough. The second time, he was fully alongside, if anything slightly ahead, and got forced off. It’s a close one and you could understand the stewards going either way, so for Mazepin to react in the way he did was incredibly unprofessional. I don’t think he intentionally punted the position board towards Tsunoda I guess he was just annoyed and came in hot, but still.

      1. we saw exactly the same situations earlier in the race, with people trying to attack there and being forced off the track, but no investigations were necessary. In my opinion this was a pure racing moment. Tsunoda had 5 laps and DRS to make the move stick. And he didn’t. Unlike many others in the race.

      2. Sure, it is only logical that Tsunoda complained @hugh11, but I agree with @njoydesign as well as with Peter Windsor who was in the commentary box, that the penalty for Mazepin for his defense was quite harsh. To me that defense seemed firm, but still within the rules.

        I guess the fact that Mazepin was penalized last race, and his comments about the penalty both contributed to them investigating that incident with the no. 2 place board.

        1. @njoydesign @hugh11 @bascb Tsunoda got ahead in the braking zone, on past precedent Mazepin therefore has to leave room for him at the outside of the corner, which he didn’t. It’s a slam-dunk penalty as far as I’m concerned.

          1. Thanks for chipping in with that Keith.

    2. yes @njoydesign I thought it was Tsunoda pushing his luck, not for the first time, not getting in front and then the inevitable happening, wheel to wheel and perfectly legitimate.

  2. Isn’t he still under investigation for unsafe release?

  3. My thoughts were the 5 second penalty was on the edge, I’ve seen them go both ways but I feel Tsunoda was enough along side to be given room.

    However… I would expect something for the marker board incident, it’s unnecessarily dangerous in a busy area. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a penalty for the pit stop, he showed a really disregard for the other pit stop crew.

    He can feel like the world is against him, but if you look at the incidents you can see why he’s getting the penalties.

  4. What is painted on the top of Tsunoda’s helmet? (Something red and yellow for sure.)
    After they got out of the car and he and Mazepin stood next to some tables with water and so on the top of them, and he took off the helmet it looked like Tsunoda was pointing to the top of his helmet as if he would like to show something (to Mazepin? Or it was just looking like that from that particular camera angle ).

    1. He had a tribute to Hubert painted on top

    2. Coventry Climax
      29th August 2020, 23:40

      Something Red and Yellow for sure? Meaning like the Chinese flag?
      Tsunoda is Japanese. Japan has a Red and White flag.

      It was the tribute to Anthoine, like many carried, on either car or helmet.

    3. Jockey Ewing
      30th August 2020, 1:28

      Thank you. Yes, I thought that it might had been a tribute to Hubert, but his helmet design not changed too much since February.
      This is February, it’s quite orange or papaya and something like red:
      But here the top is quite yellow and red:
      Or he was pointing to the red and white part, it’s hard to decide for me based on those few second afters that tense and amazing race, and those moments at the end:

    4. So now I found the Anthoine Hubert tribute logo, it is white and on the top of the helmet, so Tsunoda was pointing to the logo, it’s a bit hard to see because of the lower contrast with the yellow or papaya surrounding.

  5. Is there a video of a board hit? Was there really intention to hurt Tsunoda with it?

    1. @ivan-vinitskyy that is something that only Mazepin will be able to answer – from the external shot, it looks like it could easily be more of a case that Mazepin was just frustrated and took it out on the sign, so might not have intended to punt it towards Tsunoda.

    2. Looking at that, I think it is completely clear that Mazepin did that from being angry at the situation @ivan-vinitskyy, @sato113, as Anon mentions, we’ve seen other drivers drive into those too in the past when they were not happy with how it ended.

      I seriously doubt that he even noticed or even more intended for that board to go towards Tsunoda or even think about injuring him. His annoyance/anger would have been far more towards the stewards than his competitor at that moment.

    3. Coventry Climax
      29th August 2020, 23:42

      Yes there is.
      No there wasn’t.

  6. A small edit to the article above: The final paragraph originally described the other investigation Mazepin faces as an “unsafe release” from the pits, this has now been clarified with further detail.

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