Ex-F2 Rival and Williams Junior Takes Savage Dig at Nikita Mazepin’s F1 Debut

Published 03/31/2021, 6:40 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Haas’ Nikita Mazepin in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


When Nikita Mazepin was prepping to make his F1 debut in Bahrain, he would’ve had something pretty different in mind, compared to what actually happened. Unfortunately, he spun out and crashed during lap 1, which forced him to end his race as soon as it began. So, Mazepin’s former rival, Jack Aitken, took a jab at the Russian driver for not finishing his debut race.

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Aitken is a Williams reserve driver who drove for the team last year during the Sakhir Grand Prix, stepping in for George Russell, who, in turn, took his talents to Mercedes to fill in for Lewis Hamilton, who was down with COVID-19.

The British driver has been in a similar position as Mazepin. Back at the Sakhir GP, Aitken put in 61 laps before crashing and damaging his front wing at turn 11. Fortunately, he was able to continue his race and ended up finishing in 16th place.

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Jack Aitken takes a jab at his former F2 rival, Nikita Mazepin

The Williams reserve driver posted a tweet soon after the Bahrain Grand Prix and was happy that he didn’t crash and managed to finish the race, unlike Mazepin, who had an early retirement.

Aitken wrote, “Suddenly feeling a lot better about the 60 laps I managed in Sakhir before my spin.”

The first race of the season was a hard pill to swallow for Haas. While Mazepin had to retire in lap 1, Mick Schumacher finished 16th, which meant that the American team couldn’t bring any points home.

Guenther Steiner says Mazepin was very upset after his debut

Mazepin’s debut was probably the farthest thing away from what he had imagined it to be. A performance like this is sure to upset anyone, and Nikita is no different. Team boss, Guenther Steiner revealed that Mazepin beat himself up over his failed debut.

The Haas boss said, “Yeah, he was pretty beat up. I just said to him to keep his head up and keep ongoing. For sure it’s not ideal what happened, but it happened.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Haas’ Nikita Mazepin during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“He beats himself up pretty badly after but he’s ready to go again. We pushed him up again, but otherwise Mick [Schumacher] did a good job.

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“So at least we got half of what we wanted to achieve, 50 percent there.”

Obviously, it will take Schumacher and Mazepin some time to learn the ropes of the sport, and they hope they have better races in the Grand Prix weekends to follow.

What did you think of the rookies in their debut race? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

631 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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