Nikita Mazepin Vehemently Defends His ‘Bad Boy’ Persona in F1

Published 10/31/2021, 10:38 AM EDT
Motor racing – Formula One – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 24, 2021 Haas’ Nikita Mazepin arrives at the circuit REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


Nikita Mazepin has had a tough rookie season in Formula 1. Having received a lot of hostility from the fans, it has not been easy for the driver. Mazepin has often talked about his antagonist role with the media; again, at a recent interview, the Russian reveals that this was not his intention.

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His teammate, Mick Schumacher entered his rookie season as a fan favorite. This would have been difficult for Mazepin- to be put alongside Mick. Almost dolefully, Mazepin recently said, “Sometimes I make mistakes, I analyze them and try to do better next time. But I’m certainly not trying to be a bad boy on purpose.”

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 25, 2021 Haas’ Nikita Mazepin during qualifying REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

This is in response to the heavy criticism the Haas driver has faced; his ‘Mazespin’ disparage has only increased since the first half of the season. This has had an inadvertent effect on the driver. Another aspect of his “bad guy” image has been the fact that his father is funding Haas.

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However, Mazepin hopes his team wont be his only defining characteristic. “For me, it was important in the first place to reach Formula 1. Now I hope to be able to contribute to improving the team. And maybe, at some point, I’ll get an offer from a better team.”

The season so far for Nikita Mazepin

From his first spin in Bahrain to his blue flag violations and even treading on others’ toes in qualifying- Mazepin has unfortunately developed an air of incompetence around him. However, one shouldn’t forget that it is only his rookie season in the sport.

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As a result of irritation from other drivers, and the “tough dog” personality, Mazepin has had a pretty lonely season so far. It is well-known that he doesn’t get along with Mick as much; their cold war at Haas has been an important nuance in the season. However, he considers Schumacher to be his best friend.

When accused of lying about his statement, Mazepin explained, “Why would I lie? He’s the one who’s closest to me in the garage.” He was then asked if that’s all it takes to qualify as a best friend, Mazepin’s face drops as he talks about Mick liking the snow in Russia.

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While the drivers on the grid have grown up together in karting careers, Nikita may have had a tough time fitting in; the reputation crafted by the media isn’t helping either. It’s hard not to feel sorry for him for all the unnecessary hate, but as he takes it in his stride, surely he will prove people wrong in the future.

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Shreya Sanjeev

612 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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