Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Norris incident ‘shows gentlemens’ agreement doesn’t work’ – Mazepin

2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Nikita Mazepin says his penalty for impeding Lando Norris in qualifying shows the so-called ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ between F1 drivers doesn’t work.

The Haas driver was given a three-place penalty for holding up Norris in Q1. However the stewards acknowledged Mazepin has been placed in a “difficult situation” because two other drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Yuki Tsunoda, overtook him shortly before the end of the lap.

Mazepin pointed out he had been told an arrangement existed between drivers not to pass each other before the final corner at the start of qualifying laps for this reason.

“If I’m not mistaken somebody asked about the drivers’ gentlemen agreement into the last corner in Bahrain,” said Mazepin. “I think [this] was a very prime example of that not working in Formula 1.

“I was really trying to obey it as I was ever since I took note of it. It’s very difficult when two cars overtake you going into a last corner which is very slow and tight, where a length of a car, which is [five]-and-a-half metres, you just cannot put a third car there and especially if the fourth car is arriving at full speed.

“So I didn’t feel that boxing up behind was an option because that would have left my rear end on the racing line. The only option was to go, which I did. Unfortunately it’s just all these things coming together.

“I’m not upset about it because there’s really not much I could have done apart from disappear which unfortunately I’m not able to do.”

Mazepin’s on-track conduct continues to draw disapproving comments from rival drivers, notably Charles Leclerc this weekend. Asked whether he had taken any notice of them Mazepin said he had not heard them at the time or afterwards.

“My radio’s connected to my team so no such comments are coming into my ears,” he answered. “And I’m not a very big social media fan so I’m not entirely sure which ones you are referring to.”

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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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40 comments on “Norris incident ‘shows gentlemens’ agreement doesn’t work’ – Mazepin”

  1. Zach (@zakspeedf1team)
    8th May 2021, 18:42

    Kinda implies you have to be a gentleman to follow a gentleman agreement.

  2. I dislike Mazepin, but there was nothing he could have done to prevent this situation. The other drivers broke the agreement because they didn’t want to be stuck behind Mazepin. If it was anyone’s fault, it was the team’s for running out of synch with the other teams.

    1. I sort of feel that way too here; the team in my mind certainly have to have at least some of the blame, as they had last week too (but that is biased by me recalling quite a few times last few years when Grosjean and/or Magnussen were told very late/not about faster cars coming by in the race, qualifying and practice), and Mazepin isn’t wrong that this stuff has cropped up before (like that silly Monza Q3 ending, was it in 2019?).

      I don’t know whether he might have done better in the situation, but the biggest issue is the situation coming up again and again when track evolution is a big thing.

  3. Really, Mazepin? That’s your excuse?

    1. What you would have done differently being on that situation?

      Reply moderated
  4. Poor mazespin.. he has to start last -3
    But i agree he was quite innocent in this case.

  5. jeansilva02
    8th May 2021, 19:33

    As a brazilian im going to say this ….. if racism between white people is even possible it definitly is the case between Europeans and the Russians

    I mean of course Mazepin deserve the bulky of the critics but i cant help but think all the media around his critics comes in part from the fact he is Russian

    The situation here is a example, when i saw the event i immediatly thought “man he couldn’t have done anything diferent in that situation” …..

    Last week Ogier try to force his car over a cop in WRC and went on to win the rally … the moment was not even put in the WRC highlights ….. Now can you picture if it was a Mazepin doing that? Probably banned for a couples of rallies

    The FIA ban against RUSSIA in motorsport because of the doping of Russian athetes is another prime example of the “persecution” … i mean what’s the connection between Motorsport Drivers and Olympic athetes??? Of course none …
    Can you imagine Germany or Uk being suspended in motorsport for the same reason? Of course not …

    As i said i’m brazilian and i have no idea all the reasons from the hostilities between Europeans and Russians, thats just my humbles thoughts …

    1. I think it more comes from the fact that a girl that he groped claimed after the fact that they had known each other forever, but her previous, now deleted social media posts proved that a lie. How did he get that girl to lie? If you can think of a way that isn’t abusive, let me know.

      Personal life aside, as I’m sure plenty of f1 drivers use their, or daddy’s money to buy their way out of sexual harassment crimes, he’s a complete bell end on track, and doesn’t even have the talent to back up his bell endidness. What did he manage last race? 1 minute behind his teammate?

      So no, it’s nothing to do with which nation he comes from, anti Russian sentiment is more an American thing than European in my experience. It’s everything to do with the things that he does.

      1. Will Jones do you work for NSA or CIA? You have very judgmental personality and insiders knowledge off Mazepin and his friends.

        I think it more comes from the fact that a girl that he groped claimed after the fact that they had known each other forever, but her previous, now deleted social media posts proved that a lie.

        And looks like you are a person that think women are a liars and can’t be trusted whatever they say. Misogynist much.

    2. And to answer your question, yes I could imagine Germany getting banned by the fia if Germany ran a state sponsored doping laboratory and the German head of state inserted themselves into the cooldown room for … reasons. It would be clear that a state that has demonstrated they are willing to cheat, and a state leader that is basking in f1’s image might just cheat in f1. Still you’re right, it’s very unfair that Russian nationals can’t race in f1, poor mazepin, not able to get into the f1 car his daddy purchased for him.

    3. First a side note: @keithcollantine I mistakenly reported the comment I’m replying to; I wanted to press Reply button but pressed the other one next to it.

    4. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
      8th May 2021, 19:49

      You seem to try to connect dots which aren’t there. No racism. I have to agree with Mazepin here. But when push comes to shove in qualifying it’s every driver for himself.

    5. The FIA ban against RUSSIA in motorsport because of the doping of Russian athletes is another prime example of the “persecution”

      You probably don’t know the backstory.
      Russia ran state-sanctioned doping program to “win” 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This got known. Up to this day their Sport governing bodies refuse to properly acknowledge that and implement proper doping controls.
      Any other country would be ashamed to the core, heads would roll, sporting bodies would be shattered. Not in Russia. They just refuse the findings and turn it into anti-west propaganda.

      Can you imagine Germany or UK doing the same? Probably not.

      FIA’s ban is not a persecution or anything, they just follow the proper sporting world protocols at dealing with state-run cheating.

      1. jeansilva02
        8th May 2021, 20:16

        I’m thankful for all the insight here … as i said i didnt have deep knowledge about the suspension so it’s always good to learn new stuff.

        Still the suspension against Russian in Motorsport doesn’t make any sense, you cant supend an entire class of people (drivers) to represent their country based just with assumptions “what if they cheat as well”

        Not my intention to defend Mazepin whatsoever, there is penty of evidence of all the bad acts he does. But i kind believe the Ogier moment and media reaction would be treated differently if we had mazepin in the situation (just the act).

        Thanks people for the chance to talk :)

        1. Hey… I’m Brazilian too… But my point is: Mazepin has been criticized for the same reason Maldonado was. Maldonado is Venezuelan. He crashed a few times putting people in danger for his behavior. There were a few incidents in F2 or F3 that were highly criticized. Also he was 7th on F2. He only has a seat because of money. Other in same situation were also highly criticized for this. See Stroll. Has a pole on his merit and quite a few good results but people still remember that he’s there for his daddy’s pockets. After all that we have the incident with the girl in the car. The whole situation show that the boy in the video is himself… I think you know Robinho’s case in Italy. How many girls are abused by rich man? Mazepin showed that he’s one of these guys. Now is up to him start piloting more. This incident was difficult for him, I agree. All he wanted was a better lap o stretch his legs and learn. Sincerely if he just stopped the car knowing he would be last anyway would be a non F1 behavior for me. He must use any second at F1 car to improve and try to be better once he has a better car. I could compare Mazepin to a few pilots that were bullish to their teammates, but all of them are too talented to be compared to the Russian…

          Just to finish, I know a bit of Russian history and why most nations dislike them. Yeah, I really think that they deserve to be punished for the doping for Olympic games. But I also think that were another country, punishment would be lighter. I could discuss Brazilian and Russian behavior, but I think this isn’t the place.

          1. I am pretty sure if any country had behaved like Russia with regard to doping then they would be getting the same punishment. They destroyed all the computers that had information on them, they destroyed athletes samples. They then tampered with the WADA investigation. On top of that they then refused to comply with the initial requirements that were put in place to allow them back into sport! They have treated the world of sport with utter contempt. They have done so for many years. In the Soviet era they used to get some of their femal athletes pregnant then terminate there pregnancies at just the right time before the events in order to maximise their bodies nutrient potential!

            As for the general dislike of Russia by Western Europe. That is deep seated in history and generally comes from the fact that they have repeatedly been dishonest and can not be trusted. This is over centuries. Then just think about the Salisbury Murders that were at the request of Putin himself.

            Now all this dislike is aimed at the Russian Government rather than the people of Russia who are greater victims of repressive leaders than anyone else.

      2. The Norway winter Olympics team also engaged in doping. Their scale may have been greater than Russia. You can’t tell me all their cross country skiers have asthma. Serena Williams gets back dated Therapeutic Use Exemptions for banned drugs. Maria Sharapova gets banned and her reputation ruined for using a drug which became illegal that she overlooked. The Russian racism is real.

        Think about Sputnik V. The research in Hungary showed it had higher efficacy and less side effects than Pfizer, Astrazeneca and Moderna. Yet Europe has a problem approving it. Remember when Russia announced their vaccine first last year. Rather than applauding this as a positive step, the western media immediately started to criticise the vaccine and the Russian government. We’re back in the cold war people it seems. The west appears angry because they can’t have a puppet Russian government they can control like they have in Ukraine.

        Look how Russia is treating Edward Snowden, look how we are treating Julian Assange? We need to take a look in the mirror first.

        1. Alex Roy, I really don’t know you, but stop putting in stuff that is just not true.

          I have been following quite a lot of the news on vaccines etc. Everything points to Sputnik (nor really Sinovac) in Hungary not being very effective at all. What does it say if you have 60% of ppl vaccinated but infection rates drop far slower and hospital occupancy does not react much. Compared to significant drops in countries like the UK, or the USA?

          As for the approval process – the EMA is still waiting for documentation from Sputnik developers te be able to judge it. What Brazil, Slovakia found when looking at it, was that there are serious questions about the production process and quality control. Quite an issue.
          I understant that the quality / stability of PRODUCTION in Russia has been a long standing issue, well known with specialists in Eeastern European countries (who used Russian vaccines for 40 years, because cold war).

          Also, I think it unethical that Russia is making a big push to get OTHER countries to use the Sputnik vaccine with political support, while at the same time there is little effort to vaccinate their own population. Just take the fact that a majority of RUSSIANS are suspicious of the sputnik vaccine!

        2. Typical Russian social media shill comment!

    6. His nationality has nothing to do with it. He’s a nasty piece of work and is an embarrassment to F1 (in terms of driving).

      If F1 were a true meritocracy, Mazepin would never feature.

    7. Tim (@tungdil12)
      8th May 2021, 21:13

      There certainly is a big anti-russian clinmte in european media as a whole, but i think that that factors in very little into the criticism of Mazepin… As a fellow brazilian i have to do this 😅
      Fora Bolsonaro !!!

    8. fan of race
      9th May 2021, 0:13

      I don’t know that I’d call it racism, more that he’s in the middle of a perfect storm of things that the populace is not a fan of at the moment – wealthy family, pay driver, and social justice warrior hijinks.

    9. @jeansilva02 Of course this is at the heart of it. With a new cold war brewing up and years of red-baiting and McCarthyism with almost daily stories in the dailys, a lot of people probably will even tend to think Mazepin is Putin’s man.

      With hatred being legitimized in the anti-Trump and woke era, there was no holding back when Mazepin did his non-PC joke, but there’s not doubt he would have been a target even without that.

    10. Animadversion is not the same as racism. Race is not everything, you know. Nations, regions often matter a lot more than race in Europe. And of course there is purely personal stuff, which in the case of Nikita Mazepin is probably the main factor.

  6. Now my actual reply: you don’t need to ask if there is racism between white people. What you’ve described as a name: xenophobia.

    And yes, many people have that for people coming from another country as for sure Brazilians are also not very fond on some of their neighbours like the Argentineans.

    As for the ban on the Russian athletes it has to do with the adherence of sport organisations to WADA, the World Anti Doping Agency. The ban comes from a serious offense in one or more sports (Athletics but also other Olympic sports if I’m not mistaken) but is a global one since WADA applied to entire country. Only sport organisations that are not affiliated, or comply with, WADA rules can disregard this ban.

    Finally, as for this particular case, I actually don’t think that Mazepin could have avoided, there was just too many cars in the same place and if he was indeed overtaken by 2 just before the corner he also didn’t have a lot of room to give space before entering the corner.
    The curious thing is that he is always around “trouble” and usually that is not a sign of a bad luck…

    1. And of course what was meant to be a reply to a previous comment was placed as a top level comment. I hate commenting via mobile, should stop doing it once and for all…

      1. jeansilva02
        8th May 2021, 20:42

        I sent a message but it dissapeared … just want to say thanks for the info … now i can relate the link between Olympic Athetes and Drivers … didnt knew about WADA at all :)

  7. I REALLY wanted Mazepin to do well in F1 and shut up some of the detractors who had him done before he even started….BUT… I now have a massive amount of egg on my face! I dont judge Mazepin for anything he does off track but his antics on track are quite embarrassing. (Even though this particular incident was not entirely his fault) I really thought he would prove everyone wrong! You let me down Nikita! You let me down!

    1. It’s either “let’s see how he does” or “we say no to him”.

  8. He indeed didn’t really have anything to do but start accelerating as he was running out of room.

  9. Nikita appears to have missed that he was penalised for blocking someone else. The agreement is about not messing up the laps of one’s fellow out-lappers. The penalty was for breaking a rule that’s about not messing up the laps of people on their fast laps. They are entirely compatible with each other.

    Sounds like Nikita needs more time with the Sporting Regulations, to understand what they say.

    1. I think he’s complaining about the Alfa and Alpha (on in laps) overtaking him (on an out lap)

      1. Which is quite unfair of them. But no reason to impede Norris really @randommallard

        1. Oh yeah Mazepin did still impede Norris, so has the penalty for that. I was just summarising Nikita’s supposed defence

  10. the penalty might be worthless in practical terms yet as a matter of principle the stewards should have not penalised Mazepin, he had nowhere to go and he tried. Also I don’t think they would have made the same call if a top driver had been involved. This one might bite the stewards back.

    1. @peartree Of course it would be 100% different with a top driver, but don’t think this will affect the stewards in any way. There have been too many inconsistent and bizarre rulings (and non-rulings), without any consequences.

      1. @balue I guess you are right, as long as it fits the narrative it is okay. Masi even went out of his way to defend Wolff’s whingeing on the radio.

  11. To be fair to Mazepin, he couldn’t really have done anything about it, even the commentary team were saying he hadn’t really got any choice. Whilst I get that using the disused part of the track would incur the lap time being deleted, perhaps they should have just put a chicane on it to prevent any advantage and to give refuge for those likely to cause a hindrance.

  12. Steven Jackson
    9th May 2021, 8:36

    There’s people here saying “imagine Germany doping”, they either have short memories or weren’t born early enough to remember the DDR. State sponsored programs rife with abuse of the athletes.

    1. and the DDR was adviced, supported, I will not say controlled but “allied” with?

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