Mazepin “extremely sorry” for close call with Hamilton

2021 Turkish Grand Prix

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Nikita Mazepin apologised to Lewis Hamilton for holding up the Mercedes driver while being lapped during the Turkish Grand Prix.

The pair had a close call on lap 28 when Hamilton pulled off-line to lap the Haas as they approached the fast turn 11 right-hander. Mazepin, who was being shown blue flags indicating he should let Hamilton by, kept to the racing line, forcing the Mercedes driver to back off.

“I’m extremely sorry to Lewis,” said Mazepin after the race. He explained he had difficulty seeing what was in his mirrors in the wet conditions and wanted more information from his team on the radio about drivers lapping him.

“I’ve been complaining to the team that I can’t see anything with the mirrors,” said Mazepin. “I do need proper guidance in my ears on where the other cars are because of all the spray, and Turkey isn’t exactly the cleanest spray that we have so it flies and dries out.

“So I was driving blind and when you get so many cars overtaking you, lapping you actually not once but even twice on an 18 [car] grid, times that by two, and it was just a disaster.

“So I’m happy that we managed to get out the way, but I’ll see Lewis now and apologise to him.”

Mazepin’s usual race engineer Dominic Haines was absent from the event for personal reasons. However his replacement Ayao Komatsu did advise the team’s driver that Hamilton was approaching.

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Mazepin had just let Sergio Perez past when Komatsu told him: “Blue flag Hamilton, he’s one second behind you.” Mazepin then rounded turn 11, delaying Hamilton, and asked his engineer for the gap to the car behind. “Hamilton’s just there,” said Komatsu, as the Mercedes went by into turn 12.

Hamilton wasn’t the only driver to be frustrated by Mazepin. Max Verstappen was also held up while lapping him. “Oh my god what is this Haas doing mate?” he exclaimed on his radio to race engineer Gianpiere Lambiase. “Look at that.”

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi said Mazepin’s move was “a bit rude” but the stewards saw no need to take action over the incident.

“Nikita came up to me straight after the race and said, simply put, that [he had] water spray in his mirrors and so forth. But he was also going to apologise to Lewis because he just simply did not see him there, and got out of the way immediately.

“Yes, it was looked at, but there was nothing further from that point.”

Mazepin was penalised during the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend for holding up Perez during the race while being lapped.

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2021 Turkish Grand Prix

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19 comments on “Mazepin “extremely sorry” for close call with Hamilton”

  1. I was a little surprised the Stewards didn’t have a look. If NM was known for clean racing his defense for his lack of action would be easier to digest :)

    1. Yeah, it looked to me like Mazepin defenitely got too much in the way of the lapping cars there, holding both Hamilton and Verstappen up quite a bit @bleuruck. Strange how it seems this is a structural issue for Haas, they have only too often been culprits of that in recent years.

      1. someone or something
        12th October 2021, 11:04

        I think the criterion for a penalty is the number of blue flags you’ve driven past without yielding the position, not how much time you cost the lapping car. It was a clumsy incident and no doubt against the spirit of the rules, but I don’t think Mazepin held Hamilton up long enough to warrant a penalty. He just screwed up a perfectly fine opportunity to get lapped without losing too much time.

        1. He definitely deserved a penalty there, I mean how can you hold someone AND create a dangerous situation.

          1. someone or something
            12th October 2021, 22:11


  2. This dangerous driving doesnt even get investigated. Dangerous driving from pretty much all drivers in Qualifying doesnt get investigated.

    Yet we’ve seen countless times that the stewards cant wait to give penalties for innocuous racing incidents like Gasly here, or those in Austria (to name the least controversial).

    It’s just crazy to me.

    1. It was a bad weekend for Masi’s team again. Cant imagine seeing him keep his role for next year.

      1. One can hope.

      2. Turnaround is a possibility.

  3. I’m convinced he waited as long as possible to move over because Mick was behind him and he wanted to finish ahead

  4. Who does Mazepin think he is? Tsunoda?

  5. It seems like if Mick is anywhere in the vicinity, he loses his mind in his desire to either stay ahead of him or get ahead of him. I think Haas needs to explain to Mazepin that his father’s money guarantees his seat and he need not kill someone in order to beat Mick.

  6. José Lopes da Silva
    11th October 2021, 21:39

    “I think Haas needs to explain to Mazepin that his father’s money guarantees his seat and he need not kill someone in order to beat Mick.” This is the most sensible and wise thing I’ve heard about Mazepin. The second most sensible was a Brazilian blogger saying, some 5 years ago, that Mazepin would never get to F1 because we was too much unqualified to rely on money alone. A couple of years later, the blogger shut down is blog, stating that he got tired.
    I don’t think Mazepin would understand the explanation, though. For him, that’s just part of the game.

  7. Not good enough Nikita, why no crash this time? You still gotta learn a lot

  8. Mazepin really is the weakest driver on the grid in quite some time. I don’t see him having an opportunity for anything better than a backmarker team who desperately need funding.

    1. I think Tsunoda is weaker, at least Nikita is crashing less in a worse car than AT.

  9. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
    12th October 2021, 2:53

    Tell me…. Mick didn’t seem to have much issue with the faster cars lapping him! Looks to me that Mr. Mazepin is the weakest link here!

  10. I just hope he won’t buy himself a pilot seat in some underfunded commercial airline.

  11. F1 would be a better place without Mazepin. Please get him off the grid ASAP.

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