Only one Formula 1 Grand Prix has passed in 2021, but fears that Russian driver Nikita Mazepin is the new big danger on the track are quickly materializing and it is no exaggeration to think that he will cause more damage in the future.
The Haas team’s midfielder, unfortunately for him but happily for the rest of the grid, lasted no more than 24 seconds at the Bahrain Grand Prix, which opened the 2021 F1 season.
The mishap paints him full-body. He starts in the last row, has trouble getting around the first two corners, and in the third without any contact or obstruction from another car, he loses control and ends up against a retaining wall.
It’s not about scrapping the crashed car (to paraphrase the fallen tree), but in my opinion, the 22-year-old stayed on the circuit for two more turns than I would have expected, with the fortunate circumstance that it did not affect anyone else. .
So as recently it represented a certain risk trying to maneuver alongside Romain Grosjean, because the Frenchman in his eagerness to give dignity to the catastrophic Haas car often ended up on the side of the track, now passing near Mazepin will be an extreme sport.
In Grosjean’s defense, the Frenchman is a good driver who fought a terrible car and put himself in a lot of danger. We all saw what happened in Bahrain, the fire and how it saved our lives.
The Mazepin in a separate case, because he is a boy with irresponsible handling, questionable talent and insufficient merits to be in the highest category.
A good driver in a bad car is a danger to himself, because when he tries to make that car drivable or fast, he will get lost. But, a driver with dubious abilities and a wild head in a bad car is a danger to himself and to others, because not only will he try to take what he does not have out of the car, but on the road he will also threaten the rest of the car with it. cars on the track for their lack of expertise.
That seems to be Nikita Mazepin, whom it is unfair to compare with the Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, as some daring people already do on social networks. It’s unfair to Pastor, who, while having many more F1 mishaps than he would have liked, was able to win a Grand Prix and was a GP2 champion.
What the Russian, the son of the owner of a gas company, does inherit is the unstable pilot label that many attributed to Maldonado.
And Mazepin is not judged by a race, but by an extensive blog of dangerous situations in his sporting life, and to show what happened in 2020 during the Feature race of F2 in Bahrain (apparently the place of his ‘big hits’ ).
That December at the Sakhir track, Nikita was about to turn Yuki Tsunoda and Felipe Drugovich into “murals” by taking them off the track on the straight and forcing them to go against a wall. Various trajectory changes, totally unsportsmanlike. If he had done that 2,200 years ago in the Roman Colosseum, he would have come out on his shoulders, with laurels on his forehead, but they no longer compete in chariots nor are races to the death.
Before, in 2019 inside the F3, Mazepin caught Callum Illot with punches because he blocked him in a practice. Thus one can enumerate collisions, actions and immature and unbridled attitudes.
Off the track, his Instagram story was famous where he was recorded abusing a woman who was drunk, a “peccadillo” that the Haas team, who had just announced it for 2021, failed but in no way endangered the seat that his father – formerly an official of the Russian gas company, today the owner of it (incredible how there are people who progress so vertiginously economically) – bought, because there is no other explanation, for him.
All of this tells us about a pattern of behavior. The FIA will need to take into account the Russian’s track record if it ever needs to decide whether or not to punish him for his actions on F1 tracks.
Hopefully we are exaggerated. May Guenther Steine and Gene Haas bring out the best in him and make him a responsible pilot. That what is settled here is only the past and that Mazepin is, not only fast as he has shown in his career, but also a pilot who manages to mature. If only.
But the one born for a bowling ball either goes down the canal or takes several ahead.