SportF1The unlikely note Mazepin puts on his F1 debut

The unlikely note Mazepin puts on his F1 debut

The Russian driver made his F1 debut with the Haas team in 2021 after finishing the previous Formula 2 season in fifth position. 14th place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was his best result of the year.

Haas had the slowest car in F1 all season and Nikita Mazepin sat at the back of the grid for most of the season, fighting only against team-mate Mick Schumacher, who beat him time and time again.

The Muscovite admits that while he is proud of how he has come through a difficult year, he could have done a better job of adapting to the demands of the championship.

“I finished high school four years ago and that was the last time I got grades, and I don’t really miss it much,” Mazepin said.

“I never think they should give me a five because five is excellence [in Russia grades go from 2 to 5], and I don’t know what excellence is. Today it may be excellent, but tomorrow I realize that I can do something plus”.

“So a four [out of five] is the most I can put on myself. So I guess a four for holding on, because times have been really tough this year at certain points.”

“Probably a three for adaptation, because that was not my strong point and I keep getting better at it.”

Mazepin made several mistakes throughout his rookie season, including a crash at the start of the Bahrain GP which he admits was one of the low points of the year.

“I’ve used a number of different cars this year, so when I’ve used cars that have been difficult or heavy for me, it’s been the low moments,” he said, referring to having to use a heavier chassis in several races this year.

“I also made some mistakes, like in the Bahrain race and other events where I felt like I didn’t perform well or didn’t try too hard and in the end my time slipped away like in Brazil , when I think we had a chance to overtake Williams or get into Q2.

“Those were the low moments, but the high moments are… a lot of races. I had a good race at Silverstone , in Brazil and in Mexico .”

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