Who Could Take Nikita Mazepin’s Place at Haas F1?

Published 03/05/2022, 2:03 PM EST
Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – February 24, 2022 Haas’ Mick Schumacher during testing REUTERS/Albert Gea

Nikita Mazepin is out of Haas. The Russian’s exit from the American team has left them a driver short. Hence, Haas now needs to find a replacement before the pre-season testing gets underway in Bahrain.

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Haas already has Mick Schumacher at their disposal. The Kannapolis-based team recruited the son of Michael Schumacher last year along with Russian Nikita Mazepin. Since the 23-year-old is no longer a part of the team, it’ll be interesting to see who gets to partner Mick for his second stint with Haas.

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An F1 seat isn’t an easy one to claim. One has to have the immense talent to become one of the 20 drivers at the pinnacle of motorsport. However, as long as talents are concerned, at times, it’s not enough for a driver to make the grid.

A driver, at times, needs to bring sponsorships in order to have their seat reserved in a team. Throughout the years, we have witnessed many examples of such a dynamic. But the question now arises: who will replace Nikita, the Russian driver who was part of a similar arrangement?

Who are the front runners at Haas?

The front-runners for the second Haas seat are Oscar Piastri, Pietro Fittipaldi, and even the retired former Renault driver, Nico Hulkenberg.

Oscar Piastri is the defending F2 champion. Hence, he surely fits the profile of a rookie F1 driver. The Australian has 6 race wins in 24 races in F2 with Prema Racing. In January 2020, Piastri became a part of the Renault Sport Academy. Moreover, is currently the reserve driver for Alpine.

Pietro Fittipaldi, another strong contender, is the grandson of 2-time world champion Emerson Fittipaldi. The Brazilian is 25 years old and has two starts with the American team already. Pietro already took over Haas wheels in 2020 when he drove for the American team in Sakhir and Abu Dhabi.

 

Nico Hulkenberg was a promising F1 driver during his days. The German has 182 race starts to his name, but sadly no podiums or wins. The former Renaut driver was most recently the reserve driver for Aston Martin in 2021.

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Interestingly, there is also talk of Antonio Giovinazzi returning to the sport. The Italian had to give away his seat to Valtteri Bottas, who joined Alfa Romeo from Mercedes. Haas might surprise everyone by bringing back the experienced F1 driver.

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Watch This Story: Fresh Heartbreak For Lewis Hamilton

As the new season dawns, the situation regarding the Haas seat is getting worldwide exposure. It’ll be interesting to see who gets to partner with Mick in the 2022 season. Only time will tell.

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Sabyasachi Biswas

770 articles

Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. He has completed his Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Sabyasachi is an ardent Red Bull and Max Verstappen fan and has been following the sport for over a decade now.

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