Nikita Mazepin

Points 341 Position 341 Date of Birth March / 02 / 1999
Place of Birth Moscow Team Haas Car Number 9

Nikita Mazepin is a Russian Formula 1 driver, born in Moscow, Russia on 2 March 1999.

His name began to be mentioned in the world of Formula 1 as early as 2016 when, at the age of 17, Force India hired him to be a development driver. He stayed in the role for three seasons.

By the time he left it, he had started to impress in the lower categories with an excellent 2018 season driving for ART Grand Prix in GP3 in which he finished the year in P2 with four wins to his name.

He then moved up to Formula 2 and, after struggling in his first year, enjoyed a largely successful second, winning two races, getting six podiums and finishing the season in P5.

Thanks to those performances, and the considerable funding brought by his father, Haas opted to hand him a full-time seat for the 2021 F1 campaign.

However, his time on the grid was almost over before it began as a video posted on his social media of him groping a woman caused widespread calls for the American team to drop him.

It wasn't the first time he'd caused controversy, with the Russian punching Callum Ilott in Formula 3 and picking up various penalties for on-track incidents.

Ultimately though, with his billionaire father supplying the team with a huge amount of money, Haas opted to keep him, and told him that he needed to "grow up" during his first year on the grid.

Sadly for Mazepin, he quickly picked up the nickname 'Mazespin' thanks to several early season spins in the Haas, and though they dried up, the name seemed to stick with him.

Career

Even before getting a full-time seat on the grid, Mazepin had a considerable amount of experience driving F1 cars under his belt.

In 2016, Force India signed him as a development driver. In that role, which he held for three seasons, he took part in various testing sessions for the team, also doing a vast amount of simulator work.

Furthermore, he’s also driven a Mercedes multiple times. In early 2019, he compiled 12 days of private testing in the W08, and a few months later, he got to drive that year’s Silver Arrow in the in-season tests in Barcelona.

He ended up topping the timesheets in the session he took part in and his best time, a 1:15.775, was only two tenths slower than Valtteri Bottas's the previous day.

The fact that he had worked with an F1 team and driven F1 cars on a number of occasions was a factor in Haas's decision to sign him as a full-time driver at the end of 2020, as was the considerable funding that he brings.

His first F1 assignment though was far from easy, since Haas had already decided that the VF-21 would not be developed, with their focus instead on the new 2022 regulations.

That left Mazepin stuck at the back of the pack, but more worryingly for him, his pace in the early rounds was comfortably adrift of fellow rookie team-mate Mick Schumacher.

Saying that it took Haas "five races" to believe him in saying that there was a problem with his car, Mazepin was not happy with the older chassis he was using, believing it was heavier and therefore slower.

After the summer break a new one arrived, apparently paid for by his father Dmitry Mazepin, rather than Haas themselves, and Mazepin's performances relative to Schumacher did improve from there.

After damaging that chassis during practice at the Qatar Grand Prix though, Mazepin's form suffered once more, with the Russian driver then missing the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi after testing positive for COVID-19 before race day.

Mazepin also had his fair share of spats with Schumacher, mainly stemming from Haas' policy of rotating track position between the drivers when it came to flying laps in qualifying.

Schumacher was also highly critical of Mazepin at the Dutch GP, accusing him of trying to put himself and other drivers in the wall. Prior to that Mazepin had received a five-second time penalty for colliding with Schumacher at Monza.

P14 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was Mazepin's best result of the season, who actually ended the season P21 in a 20-driver championship, since Robert Kubica achieved a P14 and P15 finish in his two appearances for Alfa Romeo.

Nonetheless, Mazepin and Schumacher both continued with Haas for the 2022 season.

History

After beginning his motorsport career in karting, Mazepin entered the world of single-seater racing in 2015 when he started driving for Josef Kaufmann Racing in Formula Renault 2.0, scoring one podium and 125.5 points in 16 races.

2016 proved to be something of a breakthrough year for him as, alongside being hired as a development driver by Force India, he got a seat on the Formula 3 European Championship grid with Hitech Grand Prix.

It ended up being a largely disappointing season though as he finished in the points just four times and ended it down in P20, bottom of any driver who competed in every race. The one time he did make headlines, it was for the wrong reasons as he was handed a one-race ban after punching fellow driver Callum Ilott.

Nevertheless, he kept his seat and repaid his team's faith with a better second season in which he finished P10, picking up 108 points and finishing on the podium three times. He was rewarded with a seat at ART Grand Prix for the 2018 GP3 Series season.

It would end up being the best year of his career yet. Things got off to a perfect start as he won the opening race, and he followed it up with three more victories and a total of eight podiums. It wasn't quite enough for him to beat Anthoine Hubert to the title, but it was enough to earn him a spot with the team in Formula 2.

Like in F3, he struggled to settle in in his first season in the class, scoring just 11 points while team-mate Nyck de Vries won the title. He was also widely criticized for causing an incident at the Sprint Race in his home country.

Nevertheless, he managed to stay on the grid for 2020, rejoining his old team, Hitech, and enjoyed a much stronger campaign. Of the 24 races, he won two of them and finished on the podium six times. Things weren't perfect though as he caused controversy yet again for almost running over Yuki Tsunoda in parc-ferme in Spa.

Before the end of the season, he had been linked to Haas after his father was seen with members of the team, and it was announced in December that he had signed a multi-year deal.

Mazepin's salary with Haas is reported to be around £730,000, with his net worth also said to be around the same figure.

But of course, the real Mazepin family wealth comes from his father Dmitry.

Dmitry has a net worth of around $1.8billion and has invested much of his fortune into his son's motor-racing career. The financial contributions he provides through his companies, Uralchem and Uralkali, which are Nikita's main sponsors, are thought to be a large reason as to why Haas signed the Russian.

Mazepin also sports the logo of Moscow Educational University on his race suits, as well as sport clothing and protective gear manufacturer Alpine Stars, who supply Haas with their racing gear.

Nikita's father, Dmitry, has made his wealth by founding and running Uralchem, a Russian chemicals manufacturer, and investing in fertiliser producer Uralkali. Both companies have been his son's two main sponsors throughout his motorsport career and bring considerable funding to teams.

Little else is known about the Mazepin family, with rumours that he has two siblings never confirmed or denied by the driver himself.

It has previously been reported back in 2016 that he was dating Russian supermodel Alena Shishkova, but it is not known whether the two are still in a relationship.

News