Vettel-Alonso Incident Proof F1 Is ‘Double-Faced’: Mazepin

Published 07/04/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 1, 2021 Haas’ Nikita Mazepin during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


The unfortunate end to Fernando Alonso’s hopes of making it into Q3 at the Austrian Grand Prix raised many eyebrows. As the FIA handed Sebastian Vettel a three-place grid penalty for his actions, Nikita Mazepin gave his views on the incident.

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Although the Russian drew his fair share of criticism across eight race weekends of his debut season, he feels big-name drivers deal with lesser negative reactions than a rookie like himself.

Nikita Mazepin believes drivers’ actions are less criticized if they have a big reputation

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The 22-year-old is racing in his first season with Haas in Formula One. However, he drew the ire of many drivers across eight race weekends on the F1 grid. During those weekends, the Russian was found either ignoring blue flags or blocking others during practice and qualifying sessions.

Although Mazepin often finds himself scrapping at the back of the grid, his actions drew widespread criticism from many across the world. Hence, the Russian had a lot to say about the incident involving Vettel and Alonso in Q2 yesterday.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria – June 24, 2021 Haas’ Nikita Mazepin walks the track ahead of Steiermark Grand Prix REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

As quoted by The Race, Mazepin questioned F1 having double standards due to the criticism towards him before summing up the incident.

He said, I just think that F1 is a very double-faced world, and if you’ve got a big name under you with loads of championships on your belt, your actions are less criticised than if you don’t.

“In the drivers’ briefing our race director has made new rules, saying that you have to make your track position in Turn 8 and you’re not allowed to back up in Turn 9 and 10, which means that you have to keep up the speed into those two corners.

“What I’ve seen happened in Q2, and the incident [between Alonso and Vettel], is the exact opposite.”

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The Russian ultimately admitted that the rules need to be same for all drivers in the paddock. He said, “Every driver is human, they can get caught out. And they’ve been caught out. Everyone just needs to apply the same rules to each other and then it will be a happy place.”

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With qualifying and the FIA’s investigations completed, the focus now shifts to today’s race. While Vettel’s three-place grid penalty pushes him down to P11, Mazepin starts today’s race from P20. Can the Russian cause a few upsets and finish close to the points later today? Only time will tell.

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Sanket Nair

362 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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