Possible Options for Haas F1 if They Drop Nikita Mazepin From Their Driver Lineup

Published 12/11/2020, 7:40 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)


Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 dream with Haas may be over before it even begins. The American outfit may soon drop him owing to his recent controversial scandal. This may well open up an opportunity for a race seat for another driver. But who can replace him? Which driver should the team look for?

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Haas Driver targets

Callum Ilott

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When Mazepin got the race seat at Haas, many fans felt that Ilott was the unlucky one to miss out. The British driver finished runner-up to Mick Schumacher, pushing the F2 Championship down to the wire. On pure racing ability, he deserves it more than the Russian.
Robert Schwartzman
Another Ferrari graduate. Another Russian national like Mazepin. But unlike him, he makes the case purely on his speed. He, in some ways, was even more impressive than Ilott. Considering it was his debut season in F2, it was no mean feat that he out-qualified his F2 champion teammate regularly.
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS
Nico Hulkenberg
Ah! The wealth of experience that the team richly needs in their driver lineup. Appointing Nico Hülkenberg will solve the dilemma of having two rookies. The former Renault driver is an expert in qualifying, something that is a bit of an Achilles’ heel for Mick.
Sergio Perez
The most accomplished driver that the team could target. Having the Mexican on their side of the garage will uplift the team immensely. He brings podiums, sponsorships, and now a race-winning ability with him to the team. But would Perez be willing to join?
The answer is no. His stake has never been higher since his maiden race victory in Sakhir. He is coming off a spectacular season where he has a chance to finish 4th. Only a competitive car will interest him. Why would he want to fight on the back of the grid again when there’s nothing left to prove?

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Return for Kevin Magnussen?

Similar to what Williams did with Felipe Massa, the team can simply bring the Dane back for another year. He is a solid driver who is privy to the ins and outs of the team. They could do worse than re-hiring him.
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Haas’ Kevin Magnussen during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS
Maybe these options are redundant for the team if they choose to keep Mazepin. However, if not, they need to act swiftly to find an able replacement.

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Bharat Aggarwal

592 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. His fandom for Formula One began with the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP and he fell in love with NBA after watching Dirk Nowitzki create magic on the basketball court. He is also a Manchester United fan.

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