Mazepin named as first Haas F1 driver for 2021

The Haas Formula 1 team has confirmed that current Formula 2 racer Nikita Mazepin will be one of its race drivers in 2021.

Mazepin named as first Haas F1 driver for 2021
Listen to this article

The Russian driver is expected to be partnered by Mick Schumacher, with a separate announcement to follow as soon as this week.

Mazepin currently lies third in the F2 standings with just this weekend’s finale on Bahrain’s outer circuit to come, having won feature races at Silverstone and Mugello. He will be the fourth Russian driver to race in F1 after Vitaly Petrov, Daniil Kvyat and Sergey Sirotkin.

The 21-year-old has already undergone extensive preparation for his step up to the top level, having first tested for Force India at Silverstone as long ago as 2016. He also logged mileage with the team in 2017 and 2018, and since 2019 he has had an association with Mercedes.

While he has completed only one public test day in a current car with the Brackley outfit – at Barcelona in May last year – Mazepin has been running extensively in two-year-old models at various circuits around the world, including most recently Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. He has received coaching and assistance from the marque's reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

“Nikita has underlined his credentials in F2 this year with a brace of victories and a handful of podiums in what’s been a strong sophomore season for him,” said team boss Gunther Steiner.

“He’s developed into a mature racer moving up through the junior ranks – notably most recently in the GP3 Series, where he finished runner-up in 2018, and obviously in F2 over the past two seasons.

“I’m excited to see what Nikita can achieve in F1 and we look forward to giving him the opportunity to compete at the highest level of world motorsport. With a record-setting 23 race schedule set for the 2021 FIA F1 World Championship, he’s going to get plenty of track action to learn all the nuances of grand prix racing.”

Mazepin himself added: “Becoming a F1 driver is a lifelong dream come true for me. I really appreciate the trust being put in me by Gene Haas, Gunther Steiner, and the whole of the team. They’re giving a young driver an opportunity and I thank them for that.

"I’m looking forward to starting our relationship together, both on and off the track, and I’m naturally keen to continue to demonstrate my abilities after a strong F2 season.

“The team will be looking to me for feedback and inputs in order to refine its package for 2021 and beyond. I will take that responsibility on and can’t wait to get started.”

The switch from veterans Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen to two rookies represents a significant change of direction for Haas, and inevitably reflects the necessity to take drivers who come with commercial support.

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Sakhir GP
Previous article

Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Sakhir GP

Next article

Who could replace Hamilton for the Sakhir GP?

Who could replace Hamilton for the Sakhir GP?
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022