Haas recruit Mazepin shrugs off pay driver criticism

Michelle Foster
Nikita Mazepin Formula 2 podium

Nikita Mazepin Formula 2 podium

Nikita Mazepin isn’t letting pay driver comments get to him, saying he is “confident” he can do the job for Haas.

Earlier this week Haas announced that Mazepin would race for the team in 2021 having signed a multi-year deal.

He’ll be joined by Mick Schumacher.

But while Schumacher is leading the Formula 2 championship, Mazepin is third in the standings behind Callum Ilott, the driver reportedly his main rival for the Haas seat.

Mazepin, though, was the one who got it, in part thanks to a €20 million payment that is reportedly being made by his father Dmitry’s Uralkali company.

“Is it a shame that many people associate my success with my father’s wealth?” Grandpx.news quotes him as having told Russian broadcaster RBK.

“Why should I be offended to read that my father is a successful, intelligent, purposeful person? Of course I am not offended.

“There is some frustration that people associate my success with my father’s money, but I’m confident in myself.

“I see my results. And I don’t think much about these sorts of discussions. I’ll just do my job.”

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Nikita Mazepin Formula 2

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner again defended his line up, insisting that Mazepin is in based on his results.

Asked in Friday’s press conference what impressed him most about the team’s two new signings, he was adamant it was their “race results”.

He added: “One is leading F2 and one is third in the F2 championship and results always talk.

“I didn’t spend a lot of time with them yet as with COVID we cannot interact on a personal level obviously so we spent some time on the telephone and I need to get to know them.

“But for me results talk.

“They are both pretty mature guys for their age, obviously we always have to go back to their age, so I think they have a good future.

“And that is what we are trying to do: we are trying to make a step backwards to make two steps forward for the next seasons.”

Schumacher heads into this weekend’s Sakhir showdown leading Ilott by 14 points with Mazepin a further 29 off the pace.

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