What to expect from Nikita Mazepin on track in 2021!

06-03-2021 19:20

Everybody associated with formula 1 knows Mazepin’s back story, but the fact is that he will be racing for Haas in 2021. We want to stress we don't condone any of his actions and this video is purely about what we could see from him in terms of his racing. So here’s three things you can expect from Nikita Mazepin in the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Brave overtakes

Mazepin proved in Formula 2 last season that he is very skilled at overtaking. The Russian is not scared to go side by side when the position is on the line, and often he completes some stunning moves. This was shown perfectly at Mugello in 2020. Following a late safety car after a pile-up involving Mazepin’s Haas teammate Mick Schumacher, Mazepin went from third to first in a matter of seconds. Firstly, he dived down the inside of Christian Lundgaard at Turn 1, before hanging it around the outside of teammate Luca Ghiotto to secure his second victory of the season.

Aggressive defending

Hard racing is part of Mazepin’s DNA. In some ways, he’s almost a direct replacement at Haas for Kevin Magnussen, who showed time and again that he was one of the toughest racers on the grid. But KMag is out and NMaz is in and we can expect more robust defence from Mazepin in 2021. He made headlines back in Bahrain at the end of the last season after desperately holding on to positions, forcing Felipe Drugovich off the road several times. This led to paddock-wide condemnation of his actions and two post race penalties. A similar incident occurred in Belgium, when defending from Alpha Tauri’s new rookie, Yuki Tsunoda. Mazepin was having an excellent race, but the Japanese driver was catching and attacking in the final few laps. Tsunoda went for a move on the outside of Les Combes, with Mazepin pushing him off the track and onto the run off area. Mazepin was controversially given a post-race penalty for his actions, leading to Tsunoda taking the win with Mazepin P2.

Flash points

The Mazepin and Tsunoda battle in Belgium leads us nicely on to our final item. Mazepin can sometimes be hot-headed in the cockpit, as proven after the race in Spa-Francorchamps. Returning back to the pits after the race, Mazepin was furious at his penalty, ramming the position 2 board as he came to a stop, flinging it into the path of the victorious Tsunoda, a move Mazepin was widely criticised for. A few weeks later in Mugello, just a day after his stunning victory, Mazepin was once again battling with his teammate Ghiotto. However, this battle didn’t end in a glorious overtake, rather two races ruined and Ghiotto’s Hitech in the gravel as Mazepin’s aggressive style came back to bite him. With all the fuss surrounding Mazepin, his debut year in F1 was never going to be quiet, but he’s likely to make headlines for his on track performances too. A naturally quick driver who has improved every time he’s gone up a level, Mazepin is fast, aggressive and impulsive, making him worth watching on track, despite what you think of him off it.

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