Nikita Mazepin might bring a healthy chunk of budget with him to the Haas team, but don’t be fooled into thinking he hasn’t also got some driving chops to go with it.
The Russian-born driver – the fourth to compete in F1 after Vitaly Petrov, Sergey Sirotkin and Daniil Kvyat – compiled an impressive CV in the junior formulas, finishing runner-up in the 2018 GP3 championship with four race wins.
And after taking his time to find his feet in his first season of F2 in 2019, he came into his own in 2020, notching up six podiums – including two victories – on his way to fifth in the standings.
Haas boss Guenther Steiner described Mazepin as a “mature racer” ahead of his 2021 debut for the American team in motorsport’s top tier. Now, after a low-key first season in which he was outpaced by rookie team mate Mick Schumacher, he is looking for more speed to go with that maturity.