Nikita Mazepin, Haas, 2020

Mazepin: “I’m ready for F1 – faster cars suit my driving”

2021 F1 season

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Nikita Mazepin says he feels ready to make his Formula 1 debut with Haas in 2021 as he believes faster cars suit his style of driving.

The 21-year-old, who has an outside chance of winning the Formula 2 championship in the series’ final round this weekend, was confirmed this morning as one of Haas’s two new drivers for 2021.

Mazepin said the deal for him to race for Haas next year was only finalised recently. “I feel ready for Formula 1,” he said. “I had quite a few seasons in single seaters now and I believe that faster cars do suit my driving style.”

He has won twice with new team Hitech in Formula 2 this year, but was relegated to second place in the Spa feature after finishing first on the road for forcing Yuki Tsunoda off the track.

Nikita Mazepin, Formula 2, Mugello, 2020
Mazepin has won twice in F2 this year
“It’s been quite a challenging year,” said Mazepin. “When I went to race with Hitech Grand Prix, they haven’t existed in Formula 2 previously. Although it’s only 12 people everybody needed to blend in with each other and it was a big task.

“But I think the team’s handled it fantastically. For us to be able to do reasonably fast pit stops, make [fewer] mistakes than some teams do with starting set-ups, et cetera, I think it’s an achievement that’s worth noticing. Especially given a few penalties I’ve had this year that I perhaps haven’t agreed with. I think the overall championship table is looking promising.”

Mazepin did not reveal whether he had been in discussions with any other teams about a move into Formula 1.

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“I’m not really able to comment on that,” he said. “I’ve been focussed on my F2 career because I knew that the result is what is going to help me achieve this goal. I’m lucky to say that I have a strong management team behind me and they’ve taken care of it.”

Haas confirmed Mazepin has joined them on a “multi-year” contract. Team principal Guenther Steiner has admitted the team will bring few upgrades for its 2021 car as it will need to focus its resources on developing its new chassis for the following season, when F1 is due to overhaul its technical rules.

However Mazepin said that doesn’t mean he can look upon next season as an opportunity to introduce himself to the sport gradually with minimal pressure.

“When you’re getting to F1 there’s almost one shot at it, I believe,” he said. “It’s never been a consideration of how that would be for me.

“I had this opportunity come up, we’ve decided to take it on and regardless of what Mr Guenther has said I would say that my job is to out-perform my team mate, as always, and do the best I can. So the pressure is still there on my shoulders. I believe I’m ready for F1 and I want to show it to the team, first of all.”

“I think most of the teams have decided to put their focus on ’22 based on the budget limitation and planning,” he added.

Haas lie ninth in the constructors championship with two races remaining. Steiner admitted last week the team came close to folding earlier in the season due to the financial pressures arising from the pandemic.

Mazepin said he isn’t concerned about the team’s recent decline in form. “I’m very much looking forward to it because graduating to F1 is obviously going to be exciting regardless of how the car is performing. And I think at this stage in my career now, being a young driver, it’s irrelevant to speak of [whether] the car is good or not.

Nikita Mazepin, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya
He has already tested F1 machinery with Mercedes
“I’m obviously aware that the team had a difficult year. However, my focus is on getting ready to F1. The car is very different to what I’m used to and the calendar’s going to be almost double of what I’m used to. So it’s the challenges that are ahead of me that’s my focus for now.”

Haas is yet to announce who Mazepin’s team mate will be, though his Formula 2 rival Mick Schumacher is favourite to take the seat. Mazepin said his target in his first year is to prove he can perform as an F1 driver given the equipment he has.

“I’m expecting to do well in regards to potential performance in the speed of the car that I’ll be racing at,” he said. “I believe that me and my team mate should be close within the lap times.”

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15 comments on “Mazepin: “I’m ready for F1 – faster cars suit my driving””

  1. I’ve no doubt the lad is as ready as he’ll ever be. I don’t think he’s the best driver in F2, or the one at the front of the line of deserving a promotion over others, but he’s good enough to do a capable job in that car. He seems a feisty driver in F2, capable of some decent reading of a race and willing to get his elbows out when need be, so in that sense I’m kinda excited to see what he can do in Formula 1.

  2. Why does this happen every year? Stroll, Latifi, Mazepin, even Norris and Perez

    1. Norris was not An Impostor. 3 Impostors remain.
      Stroll was An Impostor. 2 Impostors remain.
      Latifi was An Impostor. 1 Impostor remains.
      Perez was not An Impostor. 1 Impostor remains.
      Mazepin was An Impostor. 0 Impostors remain.

      Crewmates (Perez, Russell, Schumacher, Norris, Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso) win.

  3. Well, Mazepin can clearly drive a car fast enough. And his “teambuilding” experience with Hitech might come in handy at Haas, especially with his father(s’ company) chipping in with he cash to fund them to do so.

    Not too keen on his attetude, but I guess Steiner is loving Kevin Magnussen so he can probably handle that.

    1. more doors receiving a good foksmashing would be great :-D

  4. Another failure of the super license system, he should not be in F1, neither should Latifi or Stroll, they have not earned it.

    1. Stroll was An Impostor.
      Latifi was An Impostor.
      Mazepin was An Impostor.

      Crewmates (Perez, Russell, Schumacher, Norris, Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso) win.

  5. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…..

    I cant believe we will have a driver on the grid named Niki Temazepam

    1. His surname is like “maze pin”.

      1. Ive heard it pronounced “Maz-e-pan”

  6. my focus is on getting ready to F1

    So it just a warming up like Stroll early years in Williams? I thought Mazepin is gonna buy Haas but it seem like they aim higher. What team, when Mazepin ready to let go Aston Martin, in his mind to buy for his son? Red Bull?

  7. Marinated Monolith (@)
    2nd December 2020, 9:30

    “Especially given a few penalties I’ve had this year that I perhaps haven’t agreed with.”

    The fact that he’s still bringing this one up tells me a lot. I won’t deny that he’s got speed and I know people like to make fun of Ticktum but from what I’ve seen this year, Mazepin is worse.
    He was definitely the one to blame at Spa and he ended his teammate’s race at Mugello, which I remember he never actually take responsibility for, instead calling it a racing incident.

    Tsunoda was at least humble when he tested for AlphaTauri. This guy is just all bluster and entitlement.

    1. all bluster and entitlement

      a bit like all the drivers Haas has had up until now

  8. Mazepin: Faster cars suit my driving style.
    Reporter: Really? What is your driving style?
    Mazepin: Driving faster.

    Gotta love the ego of these guys! Of course, I too think myself (at my best), could beat anyone and all of them.

  9. It’s a shame that penalty points are not carried over from F2 on to F1.
    If that was he case, the new Torpedo would soon have to sit over.

Comments are closed.