Haas Gambling on Nikita Mazepin’s F2 Finish Which Could Decide F1 Debut

Published 12/03/2020, 7:05 AM EST
SCARPERIA, ITALY: Haas’ Nikita Mazepin is in doubt for 2021 Formula 1(Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


It hasn’t been a week yet since Haas has announced Nikita Mazepin as its driver for 2021. And controversies have been following that move left and right. From facing the tag of a ‘Pay Driver’ to being criticized for his unsportsmanlike conduct, the Russian is in a ball of fire.

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And now his race seat is under a cloud of uncertainty for a different reason. He does not have the FIA super license that a driver needs to hold to race in the pinnacle of motor racing.

What is the FIA Super License? What does Mazepin need to get it?

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It is a type of qualification that a driver needs to race in F1. To qualify for a super license, a driver must

  1. Be a minimum of 18 years of age
  2. Hold a valid driving license in their own countries
  3. Accumulate the FIA-mandated 40 points in the past 3 seasons.

Mazepin meets the above two requirements. However, he currently only has 33 super license points to his name. This is without keeping into account his current season in F2. Should he finish the season in his current place of 3rd, he will add 40 more points to his super license. Giving him a total 0f 73 points and easily being eligible for F1.

However, should he finish 8th or lower in the standings, his total will fall below the 40 points. However, that is a slim possibility going into the last round of the season. Current 7th-placed driver Guanyu Zhou will have to finish 1st and 2nd at the feature and the sprint race in Abu Dhabi, respectively. And this is without the Russian driver himself scoring any points in those two races.

Steiner confident of Nikita Mazepin securing his drive

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BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – JULY 18: Second placed Nikita Mazepin of Russia and Hitech Grand Prix celebrates on the podium during the feature race at the Formula 2 Championship at Hungaroring on July 18, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner was aware of this risk before signing the driver. He acknowledges the slim possibility that he may not be driving next season for them. However, he is very confident of Mazepin cementing his seat for next season. About his impending super license, he said

“Obviously we were talking to the FIA ​​when we started talking about how this would work. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem, though. There’s still a mathematical possibility that he won’t make it, but it’s … very small. I think I’ll take that risk. You know, I’ve taken greater risks than this. So I think we’ll get a super license in the end.”

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“You know, I’ve taken greater risks than this. So I think we’ll get a super license in the end, but we ran through a few scenarios of what could be done, what should be done. But it is difficult. The best thing is always to make it with the points. “

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Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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