WATCH: F1 Driver Nikita Mazepin Sits Courtside at Miami Heat’s NBA Game

Published 10/27/2021, 6:44 AM EDT
Oct 21, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) dunks the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first period of the game at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports


F1 returns to the United States after a year’s absence because of the COVID pandemic, and to celebrate its return, Formula 1 has collaborated with one of the most popular sports in the country – NBA, which is marking its 75th anniversary. Several basketball players were spotted throughout the race weekend. And the four-time NBA champion, Shaquille O’Neal, even facilitated the podium winners at the COTA.

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And just days after an exhilarating United States Grand Prix, Nikita Mazepin was spotted in the FTX Arena in Miami for an NBA game between Miami Heat and Orlando Magic. Taking to Instagram, Nikita Mazepin uploaded an image from his official account and was observed sitting courtside. The Russian driver wrote, “What a show by Miami Heat.”

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Miami Heat comfortably defeated Orlando Magic by 107-90 to register their second win of the season. The three-time NBA champions currently sit fifth in the Eastern Conference table just behind Milwaukee Bucks.

Watch Story: Max Verstappen Beats Lewis Hamilton But Shaquille O’Neal Takes Center Stage: Best Moments from US GP

Very lonely, boring, and painful race at COTA: Nikita Mazepin

Nikita Mazepin endured one of the most challenging races at Austin in his rookie season in Formula 1. During the opening lap of the United States Grand Prix, Mazepin’s headrest became dislodged on only turn 2. As a result, the 22-year-old was forced to make an early pit stop which hampered his entire race.

Meanwhile, as quoted by Motorsport, when asked how his race panned out at the Circuit of The Americas, the young Russian driver replied, “Bad. My headrest came off on the first lap in Turn 2.

“It made the first lap very sketchy because I couldn’t see anything in my mirrors. It added an unnecessary pit stop. So yeah, very lonely, boring and painful race, degrading like f**k.”

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Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of The Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 22, 2021. Haas’ Nikita Mazepin during practice REUTERS/Brian Snyder.

Furthermore, the Haas driver pointed fingers at his team for the headrest problem.

“I believe it’s a human error. It came off in Turn 2, and it’s never done that in my racing career. So I imagine something was done differently for it to happen,” concluded Nikita Mazepin.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Like Your Seat” – Mazepin Cheekily Hits Back at Schumacher’s ‘Crooked Nose’ Remark

about 1 month ago

Can Nikita Mazepin display a decent performance at the Mexican Grand Prix? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pingaksh Sharma

306 articles

Pingaksh Sharma is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been following this sport since India hosted the Grand Prix in 2012 and has been an ardent supporter of the eventual race winner, Sebastian Vettel. He is also a fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull, and hopes the former breaks Lewis Hamilton's dominance.

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