“That Hopefully Changes the Perception of Me” – Nikita Mazepin Speaks Out on His Controversy

Published 03/02/2021, 6:39 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)


New Haas recruit Nikita Mazepin has not gotten the warmest of welcomes to the world of Formula 1. Even before he could take to the wheel of the American outfit’s car, he saw himself embroiled in a social media controversy over an inappropriate video.

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The video caused an instant outrage among F1 enthusiasts, after which Haas put out a team statement saying they would internally deal with the matter. For the first time since then, the 21-year-old Russian has spoken out on the debacle.

Mazepin said, “First of all it’s very important to say that my actions in December about the whole incident were incorrect. I do take the full responsibility for it.

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“It was a very big learning experience and I can confidently say that I’m much further in my knowledge on this kind of matter than I used to be, so there’s a small bit of positivity there.”

I believe I’m a very good racer on track, stated Nikita Mazepin

“I’m not proud of it. It’s important to progress.”

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: Second placed Nikita Mazepin of Russia and Hitech Grand Prix celebrates on the podium during the feature race at the Formula 2 Championship at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Earlier in January, team boss Guenther Steiner had, in his column, talked about how the young F2 driver has realized his mistake. Building on that, Mazepin has said that he hopes people’s perception of him changes through his racecraft.

“I believe I’m a very good racer on track, I believe I’m a fast racer.

“The people who are with me over the past 21 years know who I am. It’s very difficult to be fake for people and I’m far from that.

“I’m actually looking forward to the challenge of showing people who might not like me at the moment that I have great racing skills, that hopefully changes the perception of me,” concluded Mazepin.

Haas F1 will be expecting Mazepin to showcase the fullest of his racing talent

Driving for Hitech Grand Prix, Mazepin actually had a great outing in the 2020 F2 Championship season. He recorded two race wins and four podiums finishing fifth in the Drivers’ Standings, which earned him the F1 seat with Haas.

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 11, 2020 New Haas’ driver Mick Schumacher tests the car during practice Giuseppe Cacace/Pool via REUTERS

Alongside fellow rookie Mick Schumacher, the team have hopes of seeing young blood refresh their racing identity as F1 enters a new decade. While expectations will not be very high, Haas would still have a few objectives that they would like their drivers to meet.

But that said, there will continue to be eyes on Mazepin even when he begins the season. In addition, he will look to let his racing on the track do the talking, and put the incident behind him.

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MORE – “Try and Duplicate a Mercedes, Red Bull or Mclaren? No”: Haas F1 Adopting Different Strategy

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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