Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

Mazepin rejects Latifi’s claim he deliberately blocked him

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Nikita Mazepin has firmly rejected Nicholas Latifi’s claim he was blocked by the Haas driver at the end of Q1.

The pair encountered each other as Mazepin was coming to the end of a timed lap and Latifi was preparing to begin one. Latifi received a late warning from his team that Mazepin was about to catch him.

After making a last-ditch effort to clear the way for Mazepin, Latifi told his team on the radio he expected his rival would hold him up in retaliation when he began his lap. He then caught the Haas driver at turn one and accused him of doing just that.

“I got blocked, of course,” Latifi complained. “What a dumb idiot. Like, I didn’t do it on purpose.”

However Mazepin denied he had deliberately got in his rival’s way.

Latifi said Mazepin held him up on purpose
“I always care about my competitors,” he said. “I want to live in a world where everyone’s happy.

“Unfortunately, when there’s only three places on the podium and one driver called winner, there’s never going to be a happy 20. I’d never do anything on purpose to mess somebody’s lap.”

Mazepin said he will review the footage of the incident, which the stewards did not investigate.

“I have to really watch the onboard, to be honest, because I’ve been told that he’s three seconds away, and from what I’ve seen, he was not very close. So I mean whatever you call ‘blocking’ is a bit of a tough part.

“If you look how close I was to him in the last corner, I’m sure it was less than four tenths. So I will analyse and hopefully it won’t happen again. But I’m very sorry that he’s upset.”

The Haas driver acknowledged that Formula 1 cars are highly sensitive to running in disturbed air.

“The amount of time we need between each other for the aero efficiency to work is around five seconds-plus,” he said. “So it doesn’t always go to plan.

“I was pretty fortunate that three of my laps were without traffic. The one that counts when the track is there and I’m there was with traffic but it is the nature of the game.

“When you get to Q3 it’s better, but unfortunately, we’re not there yet.”

Mazepin was also involved in a row with a rival after qualifying in the last race weekend. Antonio Giovinazzi accused him of spoiling his lap at Imola.

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Latifi’s radio from the end of Q1

Latifi was preparing to begin a lap when he asked his race engineer Gaetan Jego whether there was anyone approaching who he needed to let through. Jego advised him Mazepin was approaching, but by then the Haas driver had already caught the Williams.

Jeto:Pack is good. Make sure you have a good gap to Norris.
Latifi:Anybody pushing?
Jeto:Build a gap, build a gap, Norris… MAZ, maybe, MAZ maybe, careful.
Latifi:Ah but… you could’ve helped with that. I couldn’t get out of the way.
Latifi:He’s probably going to block me.
Latifi:Yeah he’s going to block me.
Latifi:What a… I got blocked, of course. What a dumb idiot. Like, I didn’t do it on purpose.
Jeto:Okay watch Alonso’s pushing.
Latifi:This guy’s a dumbass.
Jeto:Watch him. Go cool. Watch Alonso behind. Hamilton probably pushing. Watch. Then no threat after. Box.
Latifi:Yeah I mean you’ve got to give me better info.
Latifi:This guy’s a fucking idiot, like, okay, I didn’t see him. Don’t…
Jeto:Yeah, okay, we’ll talk about it after.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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12 comments on “Mazepin rejects Latifi’s claim he deliberately blocked him”

  1. “I always care about my competitors,” he said. “I want to live in a world where everyone’s happy.” – Niktia Mazepin

    “We Want World Peace” – The White House

    1. He calls Mazepin an idiot and then goes on to make a statement of world peace and talking about an ideal world. Don’t really know who’s the idiot here.

  2. Latifi was slightly on Mazepin’s way at the penultimate corner on the latter’s final flyer.
    The other way round wasn’t shown during QLF.

  3. Why isn’t Leclerc’s conspiracy theory about deliberate blocking an even bigger story?

    Oh I forgot. The hatred of Mazepin needs feeding.

    1. Conspiracy theories aren’t news, but Mazepin being called a “fxxxing idiot” isn’t really news to anyone either. :)

      1. @ferrox-glideh Where’ve you been the last years? Russiagate has been a daily feed for 4 years, and then there’s all the others from fake gas attacks to poisoned underwear etc etc.

        1. The only stories I’ve read about Mazepin here on this site have had to do with his bad behavior in F2, his self publicized groping of a woman, and his many rookie mistakes. I don’t follow other sites, so I don’t really know what you are talking about. As for conspiracy theories: just ignore them. It’s all you can do, or the kooks will drive you mad.

        2. By mentioning Russiagate, surely you aren’t referring to Russian meddling in foreign elections? Because that has very little to do with F1. Mazepin digs his own grave, he doesn’t need help from conspiracy theorists.

  4. If I were the FIA i’d send both Mazepin and Latifi to the back of the grid!

    1. I think Nikita would take it, at least he’s on the track and facing the right direction.

  5. I don’t think Mazepin delibrately tried to block him… that would’ve of required some skill, which we know he doesn’t have.

  6. I doubt any F1 fans care about these two rich kids toying round and crashing at the back of the grid.

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