Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Mazepin given grid drop and penalty point for impeding Norris

2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Nikita Mazepin has been given a three-place grid drop for the Spanish Grand Prix for impeding Lando Norris in qualifying.

However the penalty will have no effect on Mazepin’s starting position, as he qualified last.

The Haas driver was also given a penalty point on his licence. It is the second he has received in six days, after he was penalised for holding up race leader Sergio Perez during the Portuguese Grand Prix.

The stewards ruled Mazepin delayed Norris in the chicane at the end of the lap. While acknowledging that the tight sequence leaves drivers little room to allow rivals to pass them, they noted Mazepin could have done more to avoid holding up the McLaren driver.

“During the qualifying one session, Mazepin was setting up for a fast lap,” the stewards determined. “As he approached turns 10 and 11 Mazepin was informed that Norris was closing on a fast lap behind him and was informed of the closing gap all the way through to the incident.

“Mazepin then slowed to maintain the gap to [Mick] Schumacher ahead of him with both setting up for their fast laps. Between turn 13 and 14, [Kimi] Raikkonen and [Yuki] Tsunoda, who were coming into the pits, jumped ahead of Mazepin.

“Both cars had also been informed of the fast closing Norris, and it is clear that they did this to get out of Norris’ way. However, this created a difficult situation for Mazepin.

“The stewards determined that having been clearly informed of Norris’ whereabouts, Mazepin’s decision to pull out and re-pass Raikkonen and Tsunoda clearly impeded Norris, who lost significant time.

“The Stewards recognise that this sequence of corners creates a special challenge to the drivers in qualifying and that Mazepin was faced with a difficult situation. This was also pointed out by Norris in the hearing. However, had Mazepin waited for Norris to pass, he could have pulled out and followed Norris and the stewards determined this opportunity was available to him without significantly compromising his next lap.

“The stewards therefore order the usual penalty for ‘unnecessary impeding’ of a three grid place drop and a single penalty point.”

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2021 Spanish 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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21 comments on “Mazepin given grid drop and penalty point for impeding Norris”

  1. LOL. Still, I don’t understand both views.

  2. Haas made the best decision for 2021 – fill the second seat with a bag of money.
    It will never qualify higher than P20 and will never score points (partially because the car is a dud), but will provide steady income.

    1. I agree with their financial decision to stay afloat in a write off season, but the selection of a dangerous driver is reprehensible. The other pay drivers in F1 aren’t dangerous.

      The FIA needs to penalize Mazepin as often as fairly possible. Hopefully, he will be banned well before the end of the season.

      Reply moderated
    2. Hey, he’s scored two points now, just the wrong kind of points 😄
      He’s gonna be the Mahaveer Raghunathan of F1!

  3. Not really sure that justified a penalty TBH.

    Seemed like there were 3-4 cars holding each other up at that point & Mazepin just happened to be at the back of that queue about to start a lap when Norris turned up & i’m not really sure where he could have gone to get out of the way other than use the old circuit which would have resulted in the following hot lap been deleted anyway.

    I also in general think they need to do something with the tyres as the main reason we see so much of this in sector 3 at various circuits now is because of how much preparation & nursing the tyres require now on the out lap. It just feels like the past few years it’s gotten significantly worse & we are seeing this queuing up in sector 3 way more often than we used to.

    1. I think the reason the steward’s have given the penalty is while he was at the back of the queue, he wasn’t for most of S3. He let himself be overtaken by driving very slowly, and dug himself into this whole in the stewards’ eyes. how much of the blame is on him and how much on the team is a different matter though

  4. Had Mazepin waited, he’d have been sitting on the racing line at the entry to the chicane.

    F1 stewarding is just a joke.

  5. I think this is a bit harsh. The stewards say he could have moved over without significantly compromising his next lap, but it still would have compromised his next lap a bit, and in the fine margins of F1 this might have been crucial. Although as he started last anyway it isn’t really a penalty at all (except the penalty point), but this is not relevant to the stewards’ decision.

    1. Probably should also have at least pulled the rest of the drivers that were all in that chicane in for the same enquire instead of singling out just the one of them.

      Seems the FIA is happy to penalise some at will but not others.

  6. It is harsh, but I think it’s the only realistic outcome. He let the two drivers in front of him past due to the unnecessarily slow speed he was driving at. I’m not sure if Alfa or the Alpha was on a flying lap (which would make it more excusable), but if not then Haas need to be telling him who’s around him, and he needs to make sure he isn’t going so slowly that he can be overtaken (part of this could be blamed on Mick for going slowly in front though). Is this the second time this ‘gentleman’s agreement’ about not overtaking in S3 on out laps has played a role in Quali this season, with both involving Mazepin?

    1. I’ve read the stewards report and the Alfa and Alpha were heading into the pits, so weren’t on flying laps. It won’t change anything, considering where NM is starting tomorrow anyway

  7. Mazepin just can’t catch a break.. Lol

    The guy has annoyed half the grid this year and is the subject of radio insults multiple times in a weekend. I honestly thought that Pastor Maldonado had set the bar really high for daft track incidents .. But we might have a new bar raiser in the making.

    1. @todfod Is he raising the bar, or lowering it? Lol

      Seriously, the guy’s an embarrassment to F1.

      1. @scbriml his best is yet to come i think… he will def clash with someone and make noise in the paddock…

  8. Will he be starting from Granollers then?

  9. Now I know why Mazepin represents RAF.

  10. Jockey Ewing
    8th May 2021, 22:33

    I think he should just cover the distance at this season, there is no point to race anyone at qualifying and FP sessions as a quite error prone rookie in the worst car. Actually “racing” at qualy and FP is bad manners, any many, I would say at least half of the sim racing public secene has better standards than doing so. I have not seen this incident, but I have seen him pointlessly racing and therefore impending better cars at FPs and qualis. Recieving his first few penalty points after a few races was quite likely considering his previous career. If a bith harsh, then it is a yellow card shown to him as precaution, as an early warning. I have no problem with that, as yet he had multiple hot, or impolite moment at every weeked.

    Some slightly more severe incidents than those which he already had at this season, and his superlicense would be already debated by many. He already had a good amount of marginal moments.

    While dear Russian fans, I am not against Russian drivers, I liked Petrov by his time, and considered his dropping out a quite bad event, he had some more potential to fulfill. Kvyat was positively neutral to mel, as bad and debatable news basically never came to sunlight about him, but sadly he not went forward at his last seasons. While at last season I liked Shwartzman quite much, so I hope he can find his form again, he could be a cool and charismatic rookie, a really good motorsport ambassador of Russia.

  11. You have to wonder how much longer Mazepin Sr. will continue to fund this vanity project for his kid. It’s clearly not getting the results either had hoped for and doesn’t seem like it will ever turn around. I saw him in the garage during FP1 this weekend and I don’t recall seeing him during the previous races but could be wrong about that. Clearly he is giving this more attention now and I imagine it’s not a coincidence that it follows really poor results in just about every session.

  12. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    9th May 2021, 4:19

    Completely unnecessary penalty tbh. There were already 2 cars on the kerb of the chicane waiting for Norris to pass. As soon as Norris arrived at the chicane, Mazepin floored it and got on with his lap, something which they also pointed out to on Sky. Norris didn’t even have to lift off judging by the engine sound. The only thing which might have affected him was the wake of the Haas, something which no driver has any control over.
    Had he waited behind the 2 cars, he would have lost tyre temp. Take the old exit, and your fast lap isn’t counted.
    Such situations need to be seen with the eventual result in mind. Norris got through to Q3. Had he been eliminated in Q1, then I’d consider a penalty for Nikita.

    And a penalty point to that? Seriously?

  13. How many penalty points for Mazepin so far?

    Reply moderated

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