Former F1 Driver Lavishes Praise on Nikita Mazepin

Published 09/19/2021, 4:53 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 9, 2021 Haas’ Nikita Mazepin ahead of the Italian Grand Prix REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini


Nikita Mazepin has had a horrendous start to his rookie season in the pinnacle of motor racing. The young Russian driver was involved in several controversies on and off the track. As a result, the F1 fraternity heavily criticized him. And so far this season, Mazepin has been out-performed by his teammate, Mick Schumacher.

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Meanwhile, former Finnish driver and former steward for the FIA ​​in several races, Mika Salo praised Nikita Mazepin for adapting to one of the slowest cars on the grid. In addition, Salo claims the young Russian driver is as fast as his teammate, Mick Schumacher.

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What did Mika Salo say?

As quoted by Formula Passion, former F1 driver Mika Salo, who previously criticized Nikita Mazepin, has changed his mind and now praised the young Russian driver.

“At the time, we didn’t know their car was going that bad. It‘s just a terrible car. Nikita has learned a lot since then and is now riding very well. Everything is much better than in the first race,” said Mika Salo.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – MARCH 12: Mick Schumacher of Germany and Haas F1 and Nikita Mazepin of Russia and Haas F1 look on from the grid during Day One of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on March 12, 2021 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images)

It’s not normal [that they collide so much] but when your car doesn’t work very well, the only one you can fight with is your teammate.”

“They are almost three seconds slower than all the others, so it is quite logical that they are almost always next to each other on the track. Nikita is now almost matching Mick in terms of speed. That is why they are constantly facing each other.” (Quotes translated via Google)

Pre Formula 1 Mercedes test spoiled Nikita Mazepin: Marc Surer

Since the start of the season, Nikita Mazepin has struggled to maneuver his VF-21. As a result, he has been involved in many crashes and spun frequently.

Meanwhile, former Formula 1 driver, Marc Surer reckons pre-Formula 1 tests with Mercedes car hampered the young Russian performance in his rookie season. Mazepin tested Silver Arrows car in 2019 and 2020.

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“He has become spoiled because of that because, with a Mercedes, many drivers can drive fast,” said Marc Surer.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 4, 2021. Haas’ Nikita Mazepin REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw.

“That might have made him think; ‘Formula 1 is not that difficult’. However, then he goes from the best car on the grid to the worst, and of course, that is tough.” (Quotes translated via Google)

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DIVE DEEPER

“Not Only a Sponsor… “ – Schumacher Implies Mazepin’s Father Plays an Even Bigger ‘Role’ at Haas

about 1 month ago

Can Nikita Mazepin display a decent performance at his home race in Sochi next weekend? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pingaksh Sharma

295 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 the Lewis Hamilton dominance.

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