Nikita Mazepin will be a Formula 1 driver in 2021 after Haas announced they have signed the Russian driver on a “multi-year” deal. Although widely expected, the confirmation answers half of the Haas puzzle over their future drivers.
Callum Ilott yesterday tweeted that he would not be graduating to F1 in 2021. The confirmation from Ilott makes the announcement from Haas even less surprising. We at GP Grandstand expect that Mick Schumacher will be named Mazepin’s teammate following the conclusion of the F2 championship this weekend.
Mazepin currently lies third in the Formula 2 championship ahead of the final round at Sakhir this weekend. Although mathematically still in the title fight, Nikita is most likely be looking to solidify third place. He will need to outscore Shwartzman, Tsunoda and Lundgaard who sit just below him in the championship standings to do so.
Haas looks likely to see 2021 as a transition year while they await the 2022 regulation changes in F1. If their challenger car for next year is anything like their off-the-pace entry of 2020, Mazepin could struggle to score points.
Nikita Mazepin’s recent road to F1
Nikita finished second in 2018’s GP3 championship with ART, behind Anthoine Hubert. He then debuted down in 18th in F2 for 2019, still with ART, before moving to Hitech for the 2020 season.
Ahead of the 2020 F2 campaign, Mazepin competed in the F3 Asian Championship last winter for Hitech. He finished the championship in third place, competing with the likes of Pietro Fittipaldi, Jamie Chadwick, and Jack Doohan.
Mazepin has scored two victories in his six podium finishes in the 2020 F2 championship. Both were in the Feature Race events; one at Silverstone and the other at Mugello. The Haas announcement comes off the back of Mazepin’s second-place finish in Bahrain’s Sprint Race on Sunday, just hours before F1’s race.
Nikita Mazepin’s move to Haas means he is likely to be the sole Russian in Formula 1 next season. His current countryman, Daniil Kvyat, looks certain to lose his AlphaTauri seat next year. Many expect an either a demoted Alex Albon or a promoted Yuki Tsunoda to drive for the Swiss team next season.