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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.