Mercedes Clarify Reason behind Dropping Mazepin from Young Driver F1 Test

Published 12/12/2020, 2:26 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey -Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff FIA/Handout via REUTERS


The young drivers’ test is a natural opportunity for F2 and F3 racers to experience the specifics and handling of a Formula 1 car. Nikita Mazepin was one of the drivers expected to take part for Mercedes in the post-season test this year.

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However, following Mazepin’s controversy, Mercedes announced their final lineup for the test, stating that Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne would race the spec car in Abu Dhabi.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has now spoken about the reasons for the choice of their lineup. He insists that Mazepin’s actions had nothing to do with their eventual decision.

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Wolff said they decided on the line-up over the ‘last few days’

Motorsport quoted Wolff as saying, “We had an extensive testing programme with [Mazepin] throughout the year with a two-year-old car.

“But for the young driver test, we decided on the line-up over the last few days, and providing the opportunity to Stoffel and Nyck is good.

“They’re our works driver in Formula E, they’ve done a super solid job. And also with Stoffel not being in the car last week, it just made sense to put the two in a car.”

SCARPERIA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 11: Haas’ Nikita Mazepin is in doubt for 2021 Formula 1(Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Wolff then answered a question about Mazepin’s recent controversy playing a factor in the team’s final decision. The 48-year-old was clear that that had nothing to do with their lineup; instead, he focused on stating that the learning from the test was the complete priority for them.

“No, it’s nothing to do with his actions.

“The most important thing was to have some learning from the test,” concluded Wolff.

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Mazepin has previously tested for Mercedes F1 in 2019

Ahead of his step up into Formula 1, the 21-year-old Russian had undertaken an extensive training program with Mercedes. Recently, the confirmation of his arrival to Haas F1 also came, partnering Mick Schumacher for the F1 2021 season.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during practice Pool via REUTERS/Kamran Jebreili

Mazepin had even taken part in an F1 test for the defending champions at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona last year in 2019. However, that will clearly not be the case this year at Abu Dhabi, with their reserve drivers being the more preferred options.

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Earlier this week, Mazepin’s controversy caused an outburst on social media, with Haas also delivering an official statement later on. But, only time will tell how this will affect the young Russian’s future in Formula 1.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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