There is no other driver that is as hated in F1 circles as Haas F1’s Nikita Mazepin is at the moment. The Russian’s conduct on and off the track has been poor and has brought the sport into disrepute.
Fans of the sport don’t miss out on any opportunity to remind the team that they should get rid of the 21-year-old as soon as possible after a video emerged showing his misbehavior. However, the American team continues to back him and they hope he learns from it.
Team owner Gene Haas affirmed that they have dealt with the matter seriously. He said, “Our response to it was I think Guenther told him that he was an idiot and you can’t do things like that and it was totally unacceptable.”
He added, “I think he got a lot of criticism from all sides that just piled on him — he’s 21 years old, for a young man the deluge of criticism must have been difficult to take, so I’m hoping it’s a good lesson learned.”
Mazepin will need to to climb a mountain in order to restore some respect to his name. No matter what he does, he will always have this cloud over his head and it’s unlikely that opinions about him may ever change. He will have to perform ridiculously well in order to get people talking about him in a positive light.
With every post the team puts out over their social media, especially those regarding the Russian, the most common type of comment calls for Nikita to be axed. Gene is fully aware of this; however, dropping him isn’t the right call according to him.
He said, “We’ll just have to see how that goes. The social media response from all kind of groups was extremely strong, wanting us to execute him for what he did, but that didn’t feel like the right course either.”
Only time will tell if Mazepin, who recently completed his seat fit, can deliver on the trust placed on him. On the track, positive results might be hard to come by. They seem set to contend with Williams and Alfa Romeo for the wooden spoon at the back of the grid.
Will Mazepin be able to change people’s opinions about him? Let us know in the comments below.