Mazepin not concerned Schumacher’s FDA experience may give him an advantage

2021 F1 season

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Nikita Mazepin dismissed concerns he could start the season at a disadvantage to his fellow rookie team mate.

The Haas driver will make his F1 debut next week alongside Mick Schumacher, who is also making the step up from Formula 2. However Schumacher has already had several opportunities to test F1 cars as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

Asked how much of an advantage that might give his team mate, Mazepin said “there is no point to guess because there isn’t a definitive answer.

“I hope very little. But that’s not something for me to say because it’s not going to change my situation and I’m here to maximise what I’ve got available on the table.”

Mazepin tested for Mercedes in public and private
Mazepin has previously tested F1 machinery at Force India and Mercedes. In addition to his public test with the world champions, he also participated in an undisclosed number of private tests with them.

Asked last week how many times he’d driven a Mercedes F1 car, Mazepin said: “I would love to answer that question but unfortunately I’m not able to expand on it because of contractual reasons.”

He said he feels “prepared” to make his grand prix debut next week, but added “obviously, if you’d offered me 10 minutes on-track I’d always take it.

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“That’s the nature of the world of F1 that we live in currently. But I think I’m in a good place of starting my career in Formula 1.”

Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021
Biography: Nikita Mazepin
The appointment of Mazepin and Schumacher is a departure for Haas, which hasn’t previously run a rookie driver in a race, aside from Pietro Fittipaldi’s two appearances as a substitute for Romain Grosjean at the end of last year.

“The team has been incredibly helpful and incredibly good in managing a young driver like me,” said Mazepin. “That’s something that I didn’t really expect coming into a team that used to only have experienced drivers.

“So I’m very happy about that and hugely confident that over the 365 days of a year we can really go further together as a group of people.”

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12 comments on “Mazepin not concerned Schumacher’s FDA experience may give him an advantage”

  1. No real advantage as long as you are driving in Haas F1.

    The average F1 fan might hope for a few splendid performances from Mick Schumacher. I hope they realize that this is just his first year and he normally takes 1 full season to get into the groove.
    All i hoping for from this team is two things:
    1. that Mick does well enough to prove that he deserves a better car
    2. Nikita Mazepin has a clean season without any crashes…even if he does, i hope he doesn’t take out any of the other drivers from the race.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      18th March 2021, 14:01

      When was the last driver to have a crash free season. Was it Lewis

      1. I think it was Ocon. If not Ocon, then Max Chilton.

    2. So, you expect that Mick never crashes? :)

  2. Contractual reasons, even though he isn’t even under contract at Mercedes.

    1. Well, @jerejj, I think the contracts they made with Mercedes about testing with their cars would include a timeframe for keeping the amount of running in the dark for a couple of years (maybe even a decade?), so he would still be bound by that contract for some while.

      1. @bascb Or Mercedes just doesn’t want to give any credit to a driver with a somewhat questionable background (if he happened to do well), LOL.

  3. Dan Rooke (@geekzilla9000)
    18th March 2021, 7:50

    I daresay there’s very little difference in terms of F1 experience. MSC may have been part of the FDA, but MAZ has had private sessions in an F1 car. Those private sessions may just have been a few short stints, but they could have been race-distance drives. And both have taken part in their machinery for the season during test.

    I really don’t see Mazepin as the underdog here in terms of opportunity. Quite the opposite, at Haas itself the resources and efforts made to make sure he has a seat have been the most striking aspect of the team since last season. On track, things will be equalised (I don’t buy into conspiracy theories that 1 driver will be given favourable treatment because daddy funded the team). It’s up to Mazepin to show that he is worthy of the seat, he needs to clean his nose clean if he wants to remain in F1.

    1. Dan Rooke (@geekzilla9000)
      18th March 2021, 7:51

      *keep his nose clean, damn my clumsy fingers.

  4. Nice with a Mazepin story about the driver for once.

    He did get a lot of laps in during testing and that’s the most important, but I think it was Gary Anderson who thought Schumacher would benefit from the complexity and customization possibilities during races, being the more analytical type.

  5. Nikita Stroll, Lance Mazepin? Haas racing Moscow Point? 365 days in the future? Smells like” Deja vu” Daddy, help please!

    1. Shouldn’t there be Mick Vettel and Seb Schumacher in that mix?

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