Mazepin picked F3 due to F1 similarities

Force India's newly-signed development driver Nikita Mazepin has said Formula 3's similarities to F1 are behind his switch to the category this year.

Mazepin had raced in Formula Renault 2.0 this year, but will be graduating to European F3 with Hitech - and Force India's support.

"Teams around me have said that I'm progressing rather quickly," the 16-year-old Russian told Motorsport.com.

"As such, we decided to move straight to Formula 3 - one of the strongest championships around and one of the few that teaches you things you'll need in Formula 1.

"And since my long-term goal is, of course, Formula 1, we decided to pick a car that is most like it."

The Russian also confirmed that, as part of his learning process, he would accompany the Force India F1 squad during grand prix weekends when his F3 schedule allows.

"I'll be working with all the team's personnel, will be present at the team briefings, will know how they work, how they plan things.

"It'll be a full preparation course for a future debut in Formula 1."

Tough first campaign in cars

Despite saying that he had been complimented on his rapid progress, Mazepin admitted his first year in single-seaters didn't go fully according to plan.

Having finished runner-up in the karting world championship the year before, Mazepin finished 2015 12th in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC standings.

"It didn't all go smoothly," he said. "I had to learn a lot and didn't have a lot of testing before the season began.

"I'd say the beginning of the season went better than the end. Expectations were higher in the second half and so was the pressure. I made mistakes and I let some good results slip away.

"But I know exactly what I did wrong - and I'll try not to make those mistakes this year."

Interview by Oleg Karpov

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About this article
Series F3 Europe , Formula 1
Drivers Nikita Mazepin
Teams HitechGP , Force India
Article type Breaking news