Haas have announced that Russia’s Nikita Mazepin will race for the team in Formula One in the 2021 season, as part of a new driver lineup.
Mazepin is the first rookie to be confirmed at Haas following the announcement in late October that Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen would depart the team and F1 at end of this season.
Mazepin has described the announcement as a “lifelong dream come true” whilst acknowledging the trust that the team has put in him to race for them in 2021, saying; “I really appreciate the trust being put in me by Gene Haas, Guenther Steiner and the whole of the team. They’re giving a young driver an opportunity and I thank them for that.”
The 21 year-old who currently sits fourth in F2 with one round left however has one main aim within F1 next season, saying; “I’m naturally keen to continue to demonstrate my abilities after a strong Formula 2 season. The team will be looking to me for feedback and inputs in order to refine its package for 2021 and beyond. “I will take that responsibility on and can’t wait to get started.”
Haas Team Principal, Guenther Steiner is “delighted” to have signed Mazepin and praised the Russian’s performances in F2, saying; “Nikita has underlined his credentials in Formula 2 this year with a brace of victories and a handful of podiums in what’s been a strong sophomore season for him.”
On Mazepin’s maturity as he rose up the junior ranks, Steiner said; “He’s developed into a mature racer moving up the junior ranks – notably most recently in the GP3 Series, where he finished runner-up in 2018, and obviously in Formula 2 over the past two seasons. I’m excited to see what Nikita can achieve in Formula 1 and we look forward to giving him the opportunity to compete at the highest level of world motorsport.”
Steiner also commented that with a 23 race calendar in 2021, Mazepin will have “… plenty of track action to learn all the nuances of grand prix racing.”
Mazepin is currently competing in F2 with one round left and is an outside title contender as he sits 43 points behind championship leader and expected Haas teammate, Mick Schumacher.