WATCH: Charles Leclerc Fumes at Nikita Mazepin During Spanish GP Practice

Published 05/07/2021, 10:08 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 15, 2021 Haas’ Nikita Mazepin in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


While Nikita Mazepin did not have a very affectionate standing among the fans even before he came to F1, his image among his fellow drivers is also seemingly up in smoke.

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At just his 4th professional Grand Prix, he has impeded as many as 5 different drivers. During the first free practice session of the Spanish GP, he incurred the wrath of Charles Leclerc.

The Monegasque was on a flying lap around Barcelona on Friday when he approached the slow-moving Haas of Mazepin. The Russian’s race engineer asked him to watch out for the faster Ferrari car. But despite his repeated warnings, Mazepin did not get out of Leclerc’s way at the right time.

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The two came close to colliding on the exit of the turn. A frustrated Leclerc then came over his radio and sarcastically said to his engineer, “Mazepin will never change.”

Nikita Mazepin had a torrid time during practice

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a track that Mazepin is very familiar with, having raced here a few times in the junior categories. Therefore, he is expected to have a better turnout here compared to his previous outings at Portimao or Imola.

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But, just two laps into the first practice session, he spun into the gravel trap, going into the entry of the turn, he lost the rear of his car.

Fortunately for him, he was able to keep the engine running and reverse his way back onto the track with the help of his race engineer.

However, he wasn’t a happy man as he came over the team radio to moan about the undrivable state of his car. He complained,

“The balance is really oversteery. The tires were gone off, man. I mean, it’s really frustrating driving this car because it snaps on you when you really don’t expect it.

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“I have very little clearance of turning in this seat, I don’t know what changes from last night (have been done).”

SCARPERIA, ITALY: Haas’ Nikita Mazepin is in doubt for 2021 Formula 1(Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

You have to make the best out of the cards that you have been dealt. He finished the session rock bottom, a huge 1.2 seconds behind his teammate, Mick Schumacher.

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It’s his rookie season, so he needs to keep his head down and try to get to grips with the modern F1 car. Else he will keep facing the mockery and disdain of the F1 community.

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Bharat Aggarwal

755 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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