FIA president Jean Todt has said there would be “serious consequences” if Nikita Mazepin was involved in another controversy.
He arrives in F1 with quite a reputation, but sadly not the right one. In Formula 2, his aggressive defensive driving at times earned him criticism, while several years before that he ended up with a ban for punching Callum Ilott.
Formula 1 is a fresh start for the Russian racer, but after a vulgar video of Mazepin and a woman was posted on social media during the off-season, that went up in smoke.
Mazepin has expressed regret for his actions and aims to put things right with some solid performances on the track. But Todt has warned there will be “serious consequences” for any further dramas.
“To be very straightforward, I’m not happy about the situation,” said Todt when asked about the subject during an interview for the Cambridge Union Society.
“He has had a warning that if it will happen again, serious consequences will happen.
“Saying that, it’s something which happened in his private life. And unfortunately, he did not pay enough attention. So I simply hope he will learn out of this lesson.”
Haas came in for some criticism for hiring Mazepin but as Todt pointed out, Mazepin earned his superlicence.
In 2020 he collected two race wins and a further four podiums, securing P5 in the F2 standings and his superlicence, enabling him to race in Formula 1.
Therefore, to not give Mazepin a superlicence would have been discriminatory.
“To drive in Formula 1, you need to have a superlicence and it’s not easy to get a superlicence because you need to have 40 points,” Todt explained.
“So each driver who gets 40 points can [drive] in Formula 1. And Mazepin got the points. So it would be discrimination. Why shouldn’t he drive in Formula 1? The reason why he would not drive in Formula 1 is he could not have access to a superlicence, which is not the case.”