Mazepin narrowly avoids ban threshold after two penalties for four incidents in F2 race

Formula 2

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Nikita Mazepin has narrowly avoided an automatic ban after being penalised for two of the four incidents he was investigated for in today’s Formula 2 race.

The stewards gave Mazepin a five-second time penalty and two penalty points on his licence for impeding Felipe Drugovich while his rival tried to pass him on the pit straight.

He was given a further two penalty points and another five second time penalty for forcing Yuki Tsunoda into the pit lane exit while being overtaken by the Carlin driver.

His two five-second time penalties drop him from third to ninth in the final classification. Drugovich is therefore promoted to the final podium place.

Mazepin passed Tsunoda at the start; the pair clashed again later
The stewards took no action over two other incidents Mazepin was involved in, both of which involved Drugovich. They cleared him of forcing Drugovich off the track on the approach to turn four, which led to his rival hitting a corner distance marker, and also cleared him for making contact with Drugovich’s car.

Mazepin’s four penalty points puts him on a total of 11, which leaves him one away from 12 which would trigger an automatic one-event ban. As Formula 2 is running its final event of the season this weekend and Mazepin is due to graduate to Formula 1 with Haas next year, he would be unlikely to serve any ban while in F2.

The first incident Mazepin was involved in, and penalised for, occured when Tsunoda passed him for the lead. The stewards ruled Mazepin forced Tsunoda off the track, and issued no penalty to the Carlin driver for completing his pass with all four wheels out of boundaries.

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“The stewards determined that car seven [Tsunoda] started a pass to the right of car 24 [Mazepin] on the pit straight and established a significant part of his car alongside car 24 while car 24 was moving to the right in a blocking manoeuvre.

Penalties cost Mazepin his podium finish
“Car 24 continued moving to the right until his right side tyres crossed the edge of the track, thereby forcing car seven completely off the track in breach of Article 2 (b) of Appendix L Chapter IV of the FIA International Sporting Code.

“The stewards note that had car seven not been forced off track by car 24, car seven could clearly have successfully completed the pass on track and, therefore, no action is taken against car seven for completing a pass whilst being beyond the track limits.”

Mazepin then became embroiled in a battle with Drugovich. The stewards ruled that although Mazepin gained a position from Drugovich after making contact with the MP car at turn one, he should not be penalised because he subsequently relinquished the place.

However the stewards took a dim view of a subsequent move by Mazepin when Drugovich tried to pass him again.

“Car 15 [Drugovich] started a pass to the right of car 24 on the pit straight. Car 24 moved to the right in a blocking manoeuvre at the same time and in the process moved to the track edge. Car 15, who had established some amount of overlap in the pass attempt, was forced to slow to avoid a collision and was, therefore, hindered.”

Drugovich hit a corner marker on the approach to turn four as he tried another move on Mazepin and was strongly rebuffed. The stewards ruled this incident did not deserve a penalty.

“The stewards determined that car 15 attempted to pass car 24 on the right on the straight between turn three and four. Car 15 did not establish overlap during the manoeuvre. Car 24 moved to the right track edge in a blocking manoeuvre that the stewards found very aggressive but not in breach of the regulations.”

As a consequence of Mazepin’s two five-second penalties championship contenders Callum Ilott and Mick Schumacher are promoted to fifth and sixth in the final standings. They remain separated by 14 points ahead of tomorrow’s final race.

Dan Ticktum, who originally finished ninth, moves up to eighth and therefore will start Sunday’s sprint race from pole position. Jehan Daruvala, Schumacher and Ilott will line up behind him.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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34 comments on “Mazepin narrowly avoids ban threshold after two penalties for four incidents in F2 race”

  1. Could it have been a black flag?

    1. Surely yes.

    2. I dio nit understand why this took so lomg. Both were slam dunk penalties and the offense against Tsunoda took place long before the finish. Should not have been on the podium.

    3. Both Tsunoda and Zhou been doing exactly the same – closing the track from edge to edge. But that’s fine. Stewards keep throwing penalties just based on hate on nations. Blame Russians in everything. Same with Kvyat – whatever happens, him to blame. Or may be it’s just a business? May be stewards just selling penalties?

      1. Dude couldn’t have been more reckless. Russian or not penalty

      2. @regs No one has anything bad to say about Shwartzman, who is also Russian. The truth is it’s about the driver, not the nation. Some nations tend to to be over-represented because of financial reasons, Russia is a notable example, Japan was as well back in the 90s, with its plethora of pay drivers.

        1. Schumacher run across Shwartzman front wing in Silverstone and got nothing for that.

      3. Harry Flatters
        6th December 2020, 14:21

        Arrant nonsense. The guy is dangerous – fully deserved the penalty. Nationality completely irrelevant.

        He’ll need to clean up his act if wants to avoid an early ban in his F1 career.

        1. There are many drivers been doing the same, but they were not penalized. Including Tsunoda and Zhou.

  2. He was dangerously out of control

  3. I wonder how the F1 community, especially drivers will regard this young mad.

    1. If he continues to drive like that next year he will also hear criticism from someone else than Gunther

    2. He is the truly heir of Grosjean. No wonder he is replacing him at Haas

  4. Awesome. That means Shwartzman will beat him in the championship most likely.

  5. With all the things he was involved in as culprit, I think they should have given him that one point as a warning before he goes into F1. I would really prefer him to learn a bit of a lesson before he gets in with the “big boys”

  6. I’m glad they have given him penalties ( I take back my previous rant in the article before ). I still think there was enough there to give him a ban. F1 must be worried. Interesting scenario would be if he gets 1 more point in the sprint race. Would he miss the F1 opener in Australia?

    1. I don’t know the answer. But it interests me too.
      If he collects 1 more point, to qualify for a race ban, it would be nice to carry it, and serve it at the F1 season opener.
      That would be a proper lesson. Neither would I reset the amount of penalty points in the case of switching category, so let’s carry all of them into his F1 license.

      1. Correction, it would account for a ban in F2, not F1.

    2. The problem is he will probably miss his hard needed Superlicense for F1.

      1. They will give it to him anyway, no doubts they will find a way to let him drive.

  7. Well, Haas seem to like it rough, I guess.

  8. Well-deserved penalties – but Schumacher was doing very similar defensive moves last week and nobody batted an eyelid…

    I don’t think the Haas boys will be making any friends on-track next year. That said, they’ll probably usually be at the back anyway, so they’ll only be able to perform questionable moves on each other.

    1. Family Name and driver academy matter a lot when penalties are handed out.

  9. 2 more penalty points in tomorrow’s race.
    1 race ban
    Misses first f1 race
    Grosjean takes his seat and has a proper farewell.

  10. Do penalty points from F2 carry over to F1? If so I hope he gets a ban early in the season, and Illott gets to try the Haas…

    1. That will never happen…. Haas would just look stupid

  11. RocketTankski
    5th December 2020, 20:51

    50% nuts (and 50% sugar)

  12. The F1 drivers rejoicing about not having to race Magnussen and Grosjean any more may have to think twice.

  13. I didn’t realize “mazepin” was how you spelled “ragunathan” in Russian.

    1. There’s one for every nationality, it seems.

  14. Ah so this is what qualifies for an F1 drive these days… you know something is desperately wrong when this guy gets a drive but Perez does not. Pulling moves like that in F1 will be a disaster. Did he not see what happened last weekend?

    1. Nope. How much money your father has determines some rides.

  15. Jose Lopes da Silva
    6th December 2020, 11:05

    I regret that people don’t have memory and no one remembers anymore the occasion when Mazepin punched Illot.

    In a decade, after turning 30 years, Mazepin will say “in my youth years I was very wild, brave, I followed my gut and instinct. I’ve matured now…”

  16. And this bloke is in F1 next year?

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