Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

Mazepin penalised for holding up leader Perez despite late warning by team

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Nikita Mazepin was given the first penalty point on his Formula 1 licence for holding up race leader Sergio Perez during the Portuguese Grand Prix.

An unimpressed Perez branded his rival an “idiot” on the radio after being forced to slow to avoid contact at turn three.

The stewards noted Mazepin’s Haas team were slow to warn him about the race leader looming in his mirrors. Nonetheless, he was given a five-second time penalty and a point on his licence for the incident.

“Car nine [Mazepin] had just departed the pits with car 11 [Perez] approaching down the main straight. Car nine turned into the apex of turn three while car 11 was attempting to overtake on the inside at the entrance to the corner. Car 11 was forced to abandon the pass and lock up to avoid a collision.

“While not mitigating the breach of the regulations, the stewards note that Car nine did not have a radio warning in time to react.”

Mazepin went on to finish the race in 19th place, his final position unaffected by his penalty.

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi said the reason for the penalty was not simply down to the number of blue flag signalling boards Mazepin passed before eventually letting Perez past.

“It wasn’t so much the number of blue flags that were ignored, it was more so the incident which was shown on the broadcast, on the host, with Sergio at turn three and the near-collision that was caused under blue flags.

“It wasn’t actually for the number of panels, it was more for not effectively getting out of the way at the earliest opportunity and nearly causing an incident as a result.”

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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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32 comments on “Mazepin penalised for holding up leader Perez despite late warning by team”

  1. Yeah, I don’t think many will disagree with Perez assessment. Look at the contrast to his teammate.

    1. Indeed @bascb, still don’t really see where he lost so many time to Schumacher (but, wasn’t watching him at all apart from that brief bit so didn’t look at him going around slower than his teammate most every lap either).

      I do find

      The stewards noted Mazepin’s Haas team were slow to warn him about the race leader looming in his mirrors

      a bit interesting, as that seems to be a recurring thing (also recall that with regularity when it was about blue flags and hampering during FP/quali with Magnussen and Grosjean too), Haas seeming reluctant to timely warn their drivers of such things.

      1. I do think he had an extra pitstop – he was on soft tyres towards the end of the race @bosyber.

        At first he was not that far behind Schumacher, I think he even passed him after the SC. But then it went up quite quickly. Not exactly sure where he lost so much time, but it might have been off track moments, not getting the tyres to work – which made for the need for that extra pitstop (not 100% he did stop but, pretty sure I saw a “pitlane” with him on the timing screen late in the race.

        1. Ah indeed @bascb, that might be it; @kaiie right I do seem to recall him battling w. Schumacher there, but honestly I lost track of him afterwards.

          Well at least he apologized to Perez after the race, as well he should.

      2. Yup. After the first dozen or so laps Schumacher and Mazepin were running nose to tail, and the next time I looked at that duo the gap was a minute between them.

      3. He had an extra pitstop and some other reoccurring issue

    2. He actually makes Stroll look a bargain!!

      1. +1 :-)

      2. I’d chat with Lawrence over Dmitry!

  2. Mazepin should have been penalised more harshly & much earlier.
    His behaviour regarding Blue Flags needs corrected rapidly.

    1. I thought that he made 2 infringements.

      One was not yielding to a car on the leading lap within the 4 blue flag posts.
      The other was causing an incident with the leading car whilst being lapped.

    2. He didn’t have blue flag on this. And Perez came down from the hill, so he couldn’t see him. He didn’t see him in one corner, but he let him through right next corner. Blue flag was waved only after that. He was penalised for dangerous driving, which wasn’t dangerous at all. Hamilton driving like this every race, cutting and pushing other drivers outside the circuit, yet he never been penalised for that.

      1. Ummmm, no. Clearly a Mazepin fan or Hamilton hater. The guy turned in on a driver lapping him. That’s dangerous. What Hamilton did to Verstappen was take the racing line when he was ahead which is completely acceptable/expected and it’s the car behinds responsibility to avoid that collision. Get a clue about the regs before commenting. Also, stewards have not been overly forgiving to Hamilton over the last year or so. Several incidents deservedly penalized, with perhaps the Albon incident in Austria being closest to being harsh given a similar thing done to him (albeit on lap one when racing incidents are more easily applied to situations).

  3. Ah, his first one in F1.
    History in the making.

  4. That Mazepin bloke isn’t very good, eh?

  5. I think the FIA probably need to start thinking about whether Mazepin is worthy of his superlicence.

    He seems to get involved in incidents in virtually every session, causing practice sessions to be red-flagged by spinning off on his own or getting in the way of his competitors. And today he finished more than a minute behind his teammate, also a rookie.

    Yuji Ide lost his superlicence in 2006 after four races for being woefully off the pace and a danger to his competitors. We can’t be far away from having the same conversations about Mazepin.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      2nd May 2021, 17:54

      I think Mazepin would have to have an accident like Yuji for that to happen

    2. @red-andy Considering he was a front runner & race winner in F2 on route to 5th in that championships standings revoking his super license would essentially be saying that F2 isn’t a good proving ground.

      Also not as if Mich Schumacher hasn’t had many off track excursions this year also including crashing behind the safety car in imola which is technically far more dangerous than anything Mazzepin has done.

  6. He’s terrible. As in, up there with the worst levels of terrible. Out of his depth.

    Not only does he seem to get involved in some incident almost every session, but his pace… the guy is almost a rolling chicane.

    Undoubtedly, the Haas is bad, we all know that. But just look at fellow rookie Mick, he’s able to get enough out of it to at least fight with a Williams now and then.

    Mazepin was, on average, a second a lap slower than Mick in the race.

    Now, Mick is talented, but he’s not shown a thing at any level to suggest he has god like levels of outright speed that would take him to a title in a car not deserving of winning and is also having his own issues in that Haas, yet Mazepin is still nowhere close to him, and arguably getting further away. The only conclusion is Mazepin doesn’t have it.

    The fact NM’s engineer comes on the radio after quali praising him for ‘only’ being half a second slower than another rookie shows how little they rate him. You wouldn’t hear that anywhere else on the grid, it would be considered a poor performance unless they had an issue to account for it.

    Not to say Mazepin is totally talentless, but there have been plenty junior formulae drivers who have stepped up to F1, often with better records than him, and shown they just don’t quite have the extra level needed. NM shows on a session be session basis that he’s not even at that level. He plain doesn’t belong.

  7. Mazepin is fast approaching Yuji Ide levels of F1 performance.

  8. What I remember is that Ide was so slow that it was dangerous. Mazepin is starting to form a habit of crashing only himself out of the race. Yes he is slow but even he is fast compared to Yuji. Don’t get me wrong he is on thin ice but he will stay there unless he will do something like Ide did to Christijan Albers at Imola.

    1. @qeki I always felt a bit sorry for Idea as his biggest problem was that he was desperately unprepared for F1 having never driven an F1 car at speed until FP1 in Bahrain that year & he had no opportunity to test as Super Aguri didn’t have the budget & were also not ready to do any testing at the early part of the year.

      I also remember that he didn’t speak English & none of the teams engineers or mechanics spoke Japanese & while they had an interpreter translating everything (Sato was having to do that at times apparently) it still created some problems in terms of slowing down all the communication.

      If Ide had more time to prepare for F1, A full pre-season of testing & maybe some test’s the year before he may well have done significantly better than he did as he clearly had the pace to do well in Formula Nippon & Super GT which were/are highly competitive championships.

  9. Loved that he also got a 5 sec warning 🤣🤣 like it matter. He might as well get 10 grid places next race.

    What a joke hass has become.

  10. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    2nd May 2021, 21:07

    Lets remember that HAAS always seem awful at warning their drivers about these things. Magnussen and Grosjean constantly got warned too late about things – or not at all. Mazepin was clearly also at fault here, but we can’t all miss that HAAS seem to be the only team that seem to give their drivers far less advice. You noticed that with Grosjean and Magnussen last year when drivers were on a pushing lap in practice, they were most of the time not even told it seemed. Ocon hitting the wall when he was about to hit magnussen who got in the way was an example. This team really should give the drivers more warning.

    Mazepin has looked pretty awful overall, but one time where I actually thought he looked decent/good was the first stage of Imola. Maybe he is reasonable in wet conditions?
    Mazepin got damage at the start that wasn’t his fault according to sky and his team mate boxed after his crash under safety car so effectively got a free stop and didn’t lose any time due to his damage at all which was incredibly lucky. Mazepin didn’t pit during the safety car. Now this is where things got interesting. According to the pit stop summery on the F1 site, after the safety car restart, mazepin stopped twice and scumacher once and by lap 25 Mazepin was within DRS range of him. Mazepin must have been pretty quick even if his team mate made another mistake. Anyway, Mazipin I would say did a far better job in the first half of the race despite apparently having damage. He looked very poor in the second half though, but to me it showed he may be capable of occasionally being decent. But this race obviously was awful.

    1. Give him more warning? He was one minute behind the second last runner. Anyone behind him is coming up to lap him.

  11. It seems that people had decided Mazzepin wasn’t good before he ever sat in an F1 car & will therefore take shots at him at any/every opportunity regardless of what he does.

    I remember when rookie drivers would take time to bed in & would be given sometimes a full season to make mistakes. It seems that ever since Lewis had that amazing rookie year in 2007 (When unlimited testing was a thing remember) that it’s now expected everyone should jump in & be on the pace from day 1 but that isn’t always realistic.

    He’s had his struggles I am not going to deny this but give the kid a fair shot before writing him off completely. The Haas is clearly an awful car & Mick has also had quite a few spins & off track moments in every race so far.

    1. It’s not just that he spins and makes mistakes. He off track behavior and some of his antics in junior series have been cause for criticism.

  12. The first of many I’m sure

  13. Really pleased to see Mazepin score his first points of the season!

    1. Definitely more to come!

  14. You’d think the Haas team would be better and blue flag comms since they get so much practice being in last place and getting lapped all race long :-P… Sure, Mazepin hasn’t shown anything yet but he’s in a crap car in a write-off year. I lay the blame squarely on Steiner and the pit wall team.

    1. Biggest mistake from Steiner…ever.

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