Mazepin’s “extensive testing programme” at Mercedes won’t include young drivers’ test return

2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the team’s decision not to run Nikita Mazepin in next week’s test for young drivers has nothing to do with the recent controversy over his behaviour in a video posted on social media.

Haas, who Mazepin will drive for in the 2021 F1 season, described the video and its publication on his Instagram page as “abhorrent” and said the matter will be dealt with internally.

Mazepin drove for Mercedes in last year’s test for young drivers. He has had several further private test days in an older Mercedes and worked with their reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

“We had an extensive testing programme with him throughout the year with a two-year-old car,” team principal Toto Wolff told Sky. However Mazepin will not drive for them in next week’s test for young drivers. The team confirmed today Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries will share the W11s.

“For the young driver test, we decided on the line-up over the last few days and providing the opportunity to Stoffel and Nyck is good,” Wolff explained. “They’re our works drivers in Formula E, they’ve done a super-solid job. And also with Stoffel not being in the car last week, it just made sense to put the two in the car.”

Wolff said the decision not to run Mazepin was “nothing to do with his actions” in the video. “The most important [thing] was to have some learning from the test.”

Mazepin refused to be drawn on the extent of his testing programme with Mercedes when asked about his F1 experience last week. “All the official times is all I’m going to be talking about,” he said, “so I believe [I’ve had] three outings for Force India and one outing for Mercedes F1.”

Working with Vandoorne had been “incredibly useful”, said Mazepin. “I’ve known him for quite a few years and I believe he’s one of the the best young drivers of his time, and obviously to be able to listen in on him is a very amazing opportunity.”

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2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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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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14 comments on “Mazepin’s “extensive testing programme” at Mercedes won’t include young drivers’ test return”

  1. Why does Merc even have Mazepin on their books? He’s got some talent, but nowhere near enough to be a Merc development driver over other junior formula racers. He’s not experienced enough to give feedback on the car. Merc aren’t cash-strapped for money.

    1. I get the impression he’s not on their books as much as they were on Mazepin’s books. They’ve been running a private program for him in an older car for the last two years, but I’ve never seen him described as a Mercedes young driver and in 2019 they were emphasizing that he is not.

      1. could well have been part of Mazepin’s original agreement when he started driving sessions for force india @wsrgo, @repete86

  2. From what I can tell, it’s a private test programme, so I guess it is paid for by Mazepin? He’s not completely hopeless, so if he gives some feedback, and pays for the privilege, that may be worthwhile even to a well off team like Mercedes.

  3. A face I would gladly punch if it got heated. These bra.ts of oligarchs should be constantly reminded what are they worth.

    1. Yeh classy, violence is so much more preferable than rich kids being bratty. Im gonna back the pro athlete either way.

    2. Besides being very fit and strong, I expect Nikita’s had some sort of hand to hand combat training.

      1. No man can bean an Internet Tough Guy™. Fact.

  4. Maybe you cant have your cake and eat it eh Marzipan.

    Im sure he’ll ask to be kept abreast of the situation though.

  5. It’s going to be a fun year with Stroll jr, and Mazepin jr, fighting between them. Mazepin is the classless version of Stroll jr, but also the funniest part of the 2, it’s going to be fun who this cocky rich boy is going to drive in f1 creating multiple crashes. Verstappen you have a great competitor for the title of the most spoiled brat of the grid. And the title for the most unpolite driver on the grid. The title is at risk. We’ll see when they collide in the road!!!! It’s going to be extra interesting the exchange of declarations between the 2 more ruthless and unpolite drivers on the grid.
    Will Verstappen get a taste of his own medicine??
    Remember last time with Ocon the best taste of his own medicine?? That pic after race values gold.

  6. It seems there may be other incidents in Mazepin’s past that could surface and embarrass all concerned. I expect a lot of money is flying about to keep things quiet and spare blushes.

    1. Dont worry theres plenty of pious people more than ready to bring up any indiscretion

  7. nothing to do with the recent controversy“?
    For me it does. And one more thing is that they’ve already chosen two for testing.

    1. Yeah riiight..

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