Mazepin fined for failing to stop at red light

2021 F1 season

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Nikita Mazepin, who will make his debut as a Formula 1 driver next month, has been fined for failing to stop his car at a red light by a court in Oxfordshire.

The 21-year-old was found to have passed through a traffic light in Bracknell 1.7 seconds after it turned red. Oxford and Southern Oxfordshire Magistrates’ Court ordered Mazepin to pay a total of £274 in fines, court costs and a victim surcharge. He was also given three penalty points on his road car driving licence.

The incident occurred on June 24th last year, shortly before Mazepin began his Formula 2 campaign with Hitech, and he admitted the charge in a hearing on January 14th. He ended the F2 season fifth in the championship, but also attracted attention for his conduct on-track during the season.

Mazepin was involved in a series of incidents over the course of the year for which he received a total of 11 endorsement points on his racing licence. That left him one point shy of an automatic ban by the time the season ended in December.

He will make his Formula 1 debut in Bahrain next month for Haas. The team has faced criticism over the choice of Mazepin as its driver after a video appeared on one of his social media accounts last December showing him groping a woman in a car. Mazepin apologised for the incident, which Haas described as “abhorrent”, before later confirming he will make his debut alongside team mate Mick Schumacher.

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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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90 comments on “Mazepin fined for failing to stop at red light”

  1. Is this news really worthy of a WHOLE article? I condemn Mazepin’s behaviour in the past, but failing to stop at a red light by 1.7 seconds happens to a lot of people, racing drivers or not…

    1. It only happens if you run the red light! This guy has lightening fast reactions but can’t see a red light for 1.7s?!

      And yes it’s worthy of an article as this boy is pretty controversial and one of only 20 F1 drivers.

      1. Front page tomorrow: Mazepin has been seen picking his nose. Djeeez, we should hang him, you can’t do that if you are a rich russian kid.

        Really don’t like him, but i’ll end up rooting for him if media continues like this

    2. I dont have any warm feelings for him (or especially his dad) but I do wonder if this would have been news if it was any other driver

      1. I agree, don’t love this guy, but not sure this is worthy of a story. Doubly not sure if it’s worth commenting on… (I get my own irony here…)

        However, 1.7s is a loooong time. Add to that the UK requirement for timing of amber lights is 3 seconds (prescribed in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, Schedule 14, Part 1, paragraph 4).

        So he had 4.7 seconds to NOT go through a dangerous signal. UK law states that the driver is obligated to stop unless the light is green. Only if it is not possible to stop safely are you permitted to go through an amber light.

        1. It could by like a a lot of countries where you can turn right (in the UK it would be left) on Red. After returning home for a family function I very nearly did exactly that a few years ago as you get very used to it when living where its allowed.

          1. Tallbloke, that argument is not particularly convincing, as the UK does not permit drivers to go through a red light to make a turn – in fact, there is basically only one legal reason for a driver to go through a red light in the UK, which would be if the traffic lights in question were defective (i.e. they were stuck on red).

            Whilst Russia does allow drivers to make a “right turn on red”, as it is termed, that is only in limited circumstances. Making a right turn on red in Russia is only permitted at certain types of road junction and only if the road signs explicitly state that a driver may make a right turn on red – unless there is that explicit instruction, the driver is supposed to stop for a red light.

          2. Tallbloke, the closest UK analogy to that situation is if that turn was controlled by a separate light. This is seen at some busy junctions, which have a full green light for “allowed to go anywhere” and an arrowed green light for “allowed to turn in the direction of the arrow specifically”. If no green arrow was pointing and lit, whatever signal was on the main set of lights would have priority.

            However, the court would have seen evidence of the green arrow had one existed. Had it been so, not only would the judge have thrown out the case, but probably also told off the officers who wasted court time by bringing such an obviously flawed case. So it’s a reasonable idea, but one that Nikita would have been expected to have dismissed through reading the Highway Code before setting out on UK roads. (Being a foreigner is not considered an excuse in the UK courts, at least not in itself).

            The one other example I can think of where it would be legal to go through a red light (apart from the above and anon’s comment about defective lights) is if it is necessary to avoid a visibly more dangerous situation – the classic example is blocking in an ambulance with its emergency lights running (because it’s assumed the ambulance cannot afford to lose time in the jam) but preventing a collision would also be a possible defence. Even then, it’s quite shaky ground on which to rest a defence (certainly in the case of the ambulance, nobody is going to prosecute you for staying put if the lights at a junction are red – provided you get out of the way as soon as possible after they turn green).

      2. @minilemm That’s just whataboutism isn’t, just because we don’t question other drivers – doesn’t mean we can’t this one.

        1. This is not ‘whataboutism’, @ivan-vinitskyy, but it’s a thin line.

          @minilemm didn’t defend the action by referring to an unrelated event, but he simply questioned if this in general is newsworthy.

          PS I totally agree that it’s not newsworthy. IMO it does not even deserve a spot in the round-up.
          PPS the only reason I opened this article is to review the comments by others. By far the most interesting part.

          1. Did I point to anyone else in my comment? :) I dont think I did.
            Nor did I defend the actual action. @gdog I dont argue with that being an offense as well, or 1.7 seconds being a long time or not, I think it’s funny we’re even discussing it, that’s the point of my contribution to this discussion (duh :))

            What I’m saying is, I havent read every article on racefans/f1fanatic ever, nor have I been here long, but I havent seen articles of this kind before, and I havent felt like I was missing out :)
            To digress… I actually never really got behind the idea of discussing athletes’ actions or opinions and holding them to a “higher standard”. That always seemed very counterintuitive to me. I’m certainly unlikely to ever advise a friend to look up to an athlete for ethics/worldview, and I don’t know why anyone else would, so I dont see a point looking at their traffic violations through a magnifying glass, especially if it’s a certain convenient figure, which i suspect is the case here.
            I appreciate the marketing specialists decided the world doesnt work that way though.

            Also there’s no turning on red in Ru, just saying, that never materialised
            Also I may have had a couple of beers so please excuse the typos or unclear language

          2. To add re looking up to athletes – yeah yeah I know kids probably would
            But somehow I don’t feel like the PR ironing out of a person solves that
            I feel like people instinctively look for a human example anyway. We substitute one with a nice one – he just stops being an example, that’s all. It’s either genuine (good or bad) or non-existent

            Separate discussion.

          3. @coldfly – Hear! Hear!!

      3. It’s not the same if it’s him or any other driver. With him this is a pattern of behavior, not a single mischief. The problem I have with this article is that this event occurred last summer, but most people will be under impression that it’s something new despite all the bad thing he’s done recently (as most people read only headlines and maybe the first couple sentences if they forget to click X). “Mazepin fined for failing to stop at red light last summer” would be a more appropriate title.

      4. I am convinced that we would have had it mentioned with any driver doing the same @fer-no65, @minilemm, @gdog @ivan-vinitskyy. That this is a case of a known repeat offender of rules racking up more points on his licence makes it worthy of more than a mention in the round-up IMO.

    3. He had to ignore the amber for a few seconds before as well. The light doesnt just turn red and expect you to stop on a dime, running a red is almost always a deliberate (and obviously dangerous) decision.

      1. Exactly, Mark, @jerejj – for a race driver not only ignoring the amber but missing the red by that much means he was not even trying to do so.

    4. @fer-no65 Failing to stop at a red light by 1.7 seconds can’t happen by accident unless you focus on things other than the relevant, i.e., paying attention to the surroundings and what’s ahead. 1.7 sec means that he had plenty of time and distance to react to the preceding amber light in time to do a full stop without a problem, so intentional unless he wasn’t focusing on the driving.

    5. 1.7 seconds doing 80 km/h is nearly 40 meters, you cannot miss that by mistake.
      The guy knows he can get away with whatever he does

    6. I have never done that… 1.7 seconds is a long time after the lights have changed. It could have been deadly depending on the junction…

    7. Do you not see the amount of comments this gets? This is Mazepin we are talking about, here. He is a nice little gift from the media gods. Can’t wait to see the reactions after his first slew of crashes :-)

    8. @fer-no65 It matters because of the three points on Nikita’s road car license. A driver who gets 12 points on their road driving licence has it suspended (a “totting-up ban”), which would prevent Nikita from racing in F1 for 6 months (i.e. until the road licence was reinstated). This is because of the licence requirements for a post-2016 Superlicence requiring a valid road licence in order to hold a valid Superlicence.

      I would be stunned if Nikita manages to get 12 points on his road licence in the 3 years it takes before these 3 points are removed… …but it’s worth tracking.

  2. The section on Nikita Mazepin has been removed from the page. The Google Web Cache of the page still has it.

  3. It continues to paint the same picture we started hearing about last year. He isn’t just aggressive on track, he just doesn’t care about other people but himself. Running a red light on its own is not enough but dirty racing license, groping of a woman, history of his father, promotion due to money / status is enough for me to see what kind of human being he is.

    1. Yeah, does not really show much positive signs, does it.

  4. Mazepin!
    You don’t need to stop at the red light.
    Drive those cars for money
    They don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right.

  5. He’s not the first F1 driver nicked for traffic offences and he sure as well won’t be the last.

    But he’s really not helping himself here with all the scrutiny his behaviour is under.

    1. True. I remember when Damon Hill lost his road licence the week of the British Grand Prix back in 1996. Back then, road and racing licences were 100% separate and he could still race. I’m not sure the British public would have forgiven him had he missed the race for something so silly.

  6. Well, it was him. Not surprised.

  7. Is Mazepin misbehaving some kind of news ?

    1. @tango Yes, because of his reputation and past, LOL.

    2. @tango It is if he does enough of it to lose his road licence, because then his race licence also gets suspended – which is much easier to track if the individual offences are logged by journalists.

  8. Traffic light system is straight forward:

    – If it’s green, go.
    – If it’s amber, go.
    – If it’s red, proceed with caution.


  9. How can getting to a conclusion and fining for a clear cut case take this long? A clear cut case such as ignoring a red light should take a mere few days, not 7+ months after it happened. Anyway, unsurprising given who’s in question – doing questionable stuff not only on racing tracks but public roads as well, LOL.

    1. Easily – they get 28 days to respond to the NIP, then a further 28 days, then the time it takes to assemble the summons before being assigned a hearing date…all during a pandemic.

      Besides, it’s a motoring offence – what’s the rush?

    2. @jerejj By demanding a court review it – which lots of drivers do, even those believing they committed the offence, because even a minor procedural error can get the entire penalty cancelled if the judge thinks the police should reasonably have avoided it. (The idea is to encourage the police to process crimes correctly). There’s a backlog of nearly 50,000 cases in the English and Welsh legal system; I’m suprised a traffic offence involving only one person got seen so quickly.

      I have no objection to Nikita checking everything was above board, nor to the court system queueing it. However, anyone is entitled to simply pay the fine, and that is not only much cheaper than losing a court case, but also allows the whole affair to be completed in 1-2 weeks (depending on payment method).

  10. Are you folks serious?
    Highly likely (thank you Theresa May!) 21-year old guy spent these 1.7s grabbing some tits.
    But seriously speaking:
    Me and my friends did just that many times and went much far beyond when we were that young.
    You wanna him and other racers to act like some old farts or miserable clowns?
    This is a bad boy sport for bad boys and we want to see these guys banging wheels, slipstreaming, spinning, fighting, blowing their tyres and machinery in epic fights against all odds and gods, riding on three wheels, grabbing tits, drinking 1.5 liter magnum champagne bottles in one gulp on the podium and asking for some more vodka etc. on the way to Hall of Fame, not putting the Halos of Politically Correct Fame onto their heads.
    Are you guys that young that no one remembers Schumi rear-ended lorry back in 1995 fiddling with a radio in his car?

    Of course if 1.7s (or even 0.0017s) violation was so serious that someone got injured he should take all responsibility and even more as a public figure and a model for some young chaps – no question here.
    But to keep the very sport alive we need some guys living on the edge.

    1. Go away with that kind of mentality, it is incompatible with being an adult.

      1. Oh yeah, Vanya, go away with that kind of mentality, it is incompatible with being an adult.

        1. Are you really sure you should be proudly boasting in public about carrying out a criminal offence on a repeated basis, given your claims that you repeatedly did the same, if not worse, on multiple occasions?

          1. Criminal offence? No one was killed or hurt and all parties were smiling from ear to ear. We didn’t do anything awful, we just made everybody much happier and 30 years after we rejoice reliving the fun. If you’re Pennywise living in a sewer this could be not your idea of fun – please report authorities if you smell something terribly wrong here.

          2. Sergey Martyn, so, because you lucked out, it was OK for you to break the law and act as a criminal?

            You can pretend to yourself that “we didn’t do anything awful”, but you did – would you be so proud of yourself if something had gone wrong and you had killed somebody? You had no knowledge that you wouldn’t have killed somebody just because you wanted “a bit of fun” – it is the actions of a callous coward to pretend that it was alright and your pride in your criminality is shameful.

          3. Sergey Martin, it’s illegal, and the state is the offended party. Thus, under British law, it’s a criminal offence. (As opposed to a civil offence, which is when the offended party is another individual or a company, and no violence or injury was involved).

          4. What you say Sergey? WHAT YOU SAY?!

        2. Sergey Martyn Glad to hear that you and your friends were smiling ear to ear despite acting recklessly and selfishly without regard to the safety of other people. Very fortunate for all involved if you really did that and no one was hurt. Nonetheless, just because you believe this is standard behaviour for young people that should be commended for some reason, does not make it ok for professional racing drivers to do the same. They should be held to a higher standard because they set an example for others when you hear of these things occurring, and if this behaviour was to be normalised then that would certainly lead to an increase in road deaths.

          All those things you wrote about banging wheels, slipstreaming, and fighting wheel to wheel – those are things we are happy to see – within the bounds of a sporting contest taking place at a race track with all the appropriate safety measures and rules in place. That stuff should go absolutely nowhere near the public roads where the driver has zero control over what other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are doing.

        3. Are you Rott in disguise?

    2. I don’t want him to “act like some old fart”.

      He’s a professional driver, and he’s on the public road: when he sees a red light I want him to stop. That’s not “old fart” behaviour. It basic decent behaviour.

      Driving on the public highway is the single thing in life that carries most risk of the average person killing a bystander. Take it seriously. On track, he can behave as the rules there dictate (though I’m sure the pit exit red lights, for example, wouldn’t have a three second warning then 1.7 seconds grace).

      If you see a red light, stop. Please. Just because you see folk doing “all the time” doesn’t change this, plus if most folk ceased doing it the roads would be safer, those RLJers would be more obvious and might be influenced to stop. Driving standards might creep up and we might all be a bit safer.

    3. What the hell are you on?

    4. this is easily the most disgusting comment I’ve seen on this website

  11. Oh I see the pearl clutchers are out in force. Cant wait for next seasons articles to be hijacked by the puritans but I guess at least it stops Lewis and Max and Leclerc (weirdly) getting both barrels whatever they do.

    1. It’s nothing to do with pearl clutching, Tony. It’s everything to do with an elite sportsman failing to abide by the rules of the road. And yes, as a racing driver, I do hold him to higher standards than other road users. Obey the law, like the rest of us do.

      1. For the sake of clarity: “as a racing driver, I mean him, not me!”

  12. I laughed at the ‘victim surcharge’ for a standard motoring offence.

    1. Me too – where was the victim here?

      1. It applies to all offences sentenced in England and Wales, many of which involve no discernible victim. Poorly judged wording really. It is simply a (non-means tested) levy on those who are convicted of a crime before a court.

        1. So a tax, right?

        2. Yes – it is a tax on being guilty in addition to the fine – it is very poor isn’t it really.

      2. @ahxshades @joshgeake So do I, and that’s despite knowing every English and Welsh guilty verdict issued by a court is required to have such a surcharge. Although it is an incentive to simply take the fine from situations like this, because the initial fine given by police doesn’t include a victim surcharge.

        It’s not quite as daft as it sounds, as the money does go to organisations that support victims of crime. It’s a pooled fund, so there’s no expectation that, for example, victims of road crime get the same amount of money spent on organisations that support them as is paid in by those who break road traffic regulations. However, it is meant to go to organisations that support victims of some crime, somewhere in the UK.

        The amount is scaled to the punishment, rather than any other factor any given incident may have. For the fine range Nikita was issued, it would have been 10% of the fine (before court costs – something else people who pay the fine without going to court get to avoid).

        Think of it as a compulsory charity payment, with opacity on who exactly benefits from it.

        1. Well I’m sure the royal society for the prevention of traffic light anxiety will enjoy their chicken feed ‘victim’ surcharge.

          1. @joshgeake I already explained that it goes to crime victim organisations generally. Though it is a chicken feed amount – hardly surprising since the overall fine was also small (the effect is weird in situations where the fine is large).

  13. Idle speculation but wonder why he’s been removed from the linked article?

  14. Wait, was the pit lane closed?

  15. Apparently the officer on site told him: ‘Who do you think you are? Nikita Mazepin?’

  16. The article has been updated to include the date of the hearing.

    1. Bravo. Next time try keeping your credibility by not posting this non-news article. It belongs to Dailymail, not to racefans, it’s just a compliment to you.

      1. TurboBT, Nikita is now 1/4 of the way to a 6-month F1 ban. Please consider that this may be relevant information for a F1 fan to have.

        1. Read the article again, there’s nothing about a potential 6 month F1 ban there. I don’t care about that mazepin guy, this level of journalism just frustrates me. It’s like writing about kardashians all the time, whatever they do, as a headline.

          1. TurboBT, read Appendix L of the FIA International Sporting Code, and the UK’s “totting-up” licence suspension law. A driver whose licence has been suspended automatically has an invalid Superlicence for the duration of that suspension (which in the UK is typically 6 months, given we are discussing someone who has no previous road licence suspension).

            Keith may not have mentioned it, but from a sporting perspective, it’s more important than the consequences he did mention.

  17. Monster! It happens.

  18. It’s pretty small-fry in the grand scheme of things.

    However, given previous UK media-wide reporting of Mazepin’s exploits, I am not surprised to see this incident reported on.

    I slightly cringe at the thought of the reception that he is going to get from the paddock in Bahrain…

    And Sergey Martyn, I am with you that this offence is pretty minor- though I’m not quite sure we F1 fans all want to see the drivers ‘grabbing tits’. I think that might be frowned upon on several grounds- most obviously and importantly, legally and morally, but also on the basis of pure crassness…

  19. Looks like Nikita is the new preferred target of the woke brigade that owns and publish this website…God forbid he drives over a groundhog at the Canadian grand prix, this site will probably recommend he goes for sensitivity training somewhere in California.

  20. ugh.. I expected more from the comment section. But that is probably me being naive then.

    I can’t say I’m a fan of his but he is getting murdered here. As someone from the main land, I almost turned into the wrong lane (wrong side of the divider) when driving the rental car from the airport. And I can’t remember how many times I reached for the seat belt over the wrong shoulder.

  21. It’s not one event, it’s a regular occurance. What a role model!
    F1 needs better than this. It’s meant to be the apex of motor sport, not the pits.

  22. So much talking about Mazepin…! The guy received so much more attention than anyone of 2021 F1 drivers (except Lewis Hamilton contract negotiation). I wonder if internet is going to explode to the DOS attack level with comments/condemns after his first race no matter if he does well or fails. Looking forward to that. :)

    Looks like only Haas will be the team to watch in 2021 F1 season. Two new and young drivers, both of special heritage.
    No other surprises expected.

    1. I think Mick is going to be of the track often by his teammate.

  23. I fear this will be the gift that will keep on giving…

    Like someone said before, this is important, because this guy will be of only 20 people that will have the privilege to drive a Formula 1 car this season.

    There should be minimums that must be achieved, like for the Olympics – for example, no harassing women, follow the traffic law…

    Just because you got money, it doesn’t mean you automatically have a place in Formula 1, if you’re an ass!

  24. What a joke of an article

  25. The FIA can put sanctions on/suspend Super Licence holders who commit serious road traffic offences.

    Sporting code 2.6.2e & 2.6.2f

    1. what is serious because that site with sporting codes is insane too much for me to read.

      1. @macleod “Serious” is decided by the FIA on a case-by-case basis. I suspect they would act only if publically pressured to or if a judge withheld/suspended a driver’s licence.

    2. @mrfil There’s also the part where a Superlicence is only valid if held by a driver with a valid road traffic licence…

      1. @alianora-la-canta I think that is not true as Max didn’t had a drivers licence for 2 years while racing in F1 (2015-2016).

        FIA decide you are right ofcourse!

        1. @macleod The rule was only put in place for 2017, and as far as I know it was delayed that long specifically because of Max (who was signed to Toro Rosso before the panel recommending the race/road-licence link made its decision). Implementing such a rule after Max signed but before he held a road licence would have risked legal problems, and given what the FIA knew about people’s initial response to Max’s signing, would have been a PR fail too. By the start of 2017, the consequences of the panel decision had led to a legal case, which put the FIA under pressure to be seen to be doing something. The race-road licence link was part of the “something”.

  26. On a more philosophical note. Mazepin represents everything that is wrong with the world today.

  27. So F1 has a new hate object. A proper one this time, not just a Maldonado. This one is even Russian.

    I predict weekly articles about him and every race thread littered with it.

    1. Maldonado was more of a meme.

  28. He should never have been promoted, what with his behaviour on and off the track and almost getting a ban.


    he got caught having a sexy time moment and now he didn’t completely stop at a red light.

    I feel sorry for him now. He doesn’t have a chance

    1. ILOTT IN, LET’S GO!

      Two months later and they still haven’t cancelled the contract.

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