Nikita Mazepin is a 21-year-old Russian racing driver. In 2018, he raced in GP3 for ART and was promoted to Formula 2 in 2019. He will reportedly join Mick Schumacher in Haas for the 2021 championship. The Russian requires a P7 finish in the final race to obtain the Formula 1 super license.
However, there have been numerous accusations that Mazepin is a paid driver. His father, Dmitry Mazepin, is a billionaire owner of a mineral fertilizer company in Russia. Nonetheless, it is worth looking into Nikita Mazepin’s racing career before writing him off as a paid driver.
READ MORE- Haas Boss Steiner Confirms Mazepin Interest in F1 Seat For 2021
The curious case of Nikita Mazepin
Nikita Mazepin comes with significant financial backing. However, this is not the only reason the Russian is linked to Formula 1. He has also proved his racecraft over the course of his racing career.
In 2018, Nikita started racing in GP3 for ART alongside Callum Ilott and Anthoine Hubert. He finished second that season and had 31 more points than Callum.
The Russian missed out on the championship by 16 points. He had the most wins by any driver and only failed to score a point on one race weekend.
In 2019, Nikita was promoted to the Formula 2 grid. He struggled during his first season and failed to finish higher than P8. However, he had a much better season in 2020. He even claimed his maiden Formula 2 victory at Mugello driving for the Hitech team.
READ MORE- Steiner Explains the Pros of Having an Inexperienced Lineup at Haas F1 in 2021
The Russian also has significant experience driving Formula 1 cars. In 2016, he was Racing Point’s development driver and was a part of testing sessions along with simulator work.
In 2019, he completed 12 days of private testing in the W08. He also drove the 2019 silver arrow at the Barcelona GP testing where he topped the timesheets.
His skills and experience with Formula 1 cars allow for a smoother transaction to Formula 1 when compared to other rookies. Guenther Steiner was reported stating that he was in constant touch with Dmitry Mazepin and both of them were rather keen on getting Nikita into a Formula One car.
Undeniably, financial backing is one of the main reasons why Nikita is being linked to Haas. However, it remains to be seen whether he secures the super license.