WATCH: Nikita Mazepin Hilariously References Monaco Debacle on Team Radio During Baku FP2

Published 06/04/2021, 10:27 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 Haas’ Nikita Mazepin ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


Nikita Mazepin has a reputation of sorts on the current grid. Although he’s a rookie this season, the Russian has drawn the ire of many drivers on the grid. In addition, his on-track performances are not much to write home about.

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However, the Monaco Grand Prix threw up another problem he’s facing: the inability to switch car settings mid-race. Despite his struggles in Monaco, the Russian seems to have gotten the hang of it in Baku.

During the second practice session in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix earlier today, his engineer asked him to change engine settings. And this is what happened.

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Nikita Mazepin applauded by his engineer over the team radio

During the Monaco Grand Prix, Mazepin’s race engineer asked him to change his driver settings to “Charlie 85”. Although the instructions were clear, Mazepin struggled to follow those instructions.

Instead, the Russian retorted by saying, “I cannot do it man, you are having a f**king laugh.” In Baku, his race engineer came in on the radio with a request. “Okay Nikita, I have a Driver Default for you. Driver Default Charlie 87. When you can. No rush.”

This time, Mazepin changed the settings, which received praise from his engineer. “Nice job mate! Nice job.” Mazepin brought back his Monaco experience to revert to him. “We’re not in Monaco anymore,” said the Russian.

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How does Mazepin look heading into Baku?

While he managed to change his settings mid-session, Mazepin looks set to struggle in Baku yet again. After finishing P20 in the first practice session, Mazepin improved to P18 in the second session.

However, he’s yet to make a move on a car from another team this season.

Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021 Haas’ Nikita Mazepin walks the circuit with his team ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The Russian looks far from threatening to those who finish in the points regularly, and Baku looks to be no exception.

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However, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix has a reputation for being unpredictable. In 2018, Fernando Alonso finished P7 after a tire puncture sent him to P20 after the first lap.

In 2017, Valtteri Bottas finished an impressive P2 after pitting in the first lap for a new front wing. While all these outcomes seem unlikely for a driver like Mazepin, there’s always an inkling of hope on the streets of Baku.

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Sanket Nair

116 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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