Written by Sam Stewart, Edited by Justin Tan
An official Ferrari employee with connections to the F1 team has confirmed that Haas driver Nikita Mazepin is in talks with the Scuderia for a seat in 2022. This news has come as a surprise after the Bahrain GP, where the Russian’s race lasted all but 3 tumultuous corners, but Ferrari have confirmed that he is currently being considered for their coveted second driver seat.
Ferrari have had a shaky last few years in the sport, highlighted by consistently shambolic displays throughout the 2020 season, unlike what we have seen from the most prestigious team in motorsport. The money that Nikita Mazepin’s father: Dimitri Mazepin, brings through his company UralKali would be a valuable asset to any team considering the financial strain COVID -19 has inflicted on the sport, and Ferrari believe that the cash injection would be the perfect way for them to return to the top. “[Mazepin] has proved he’s a fast driver in F2 in 2020,” the Ferrari employee stated, “We all believe he would be a perfect addition to the team.”
Mazepin has been very controversial in his rise to the top, this controversy surrounding both his on and off track actions. His crash in turn 3 of his debut race did not help to alleviate the doubts and pressure, but he could truly extract the pace in an F1 car with the scarlet red team. “I believe he can win world championships with Ferrari,” Mazepin’s agent said, “He has the pace and in the right car he can achieve anything.”
Ferrari has of course only recently signed Spaniard Carlos Sainz to fill the second driver role alongside Charles Leclerc, but his poor performance in pre season appears to have already set him on the back foot in keeping that drive for 2022 and onwards. He may improve with more races, but with Mazepin already rumoured to be joining the team in 2022, his seat and place in Formula 1 will truly be challenged.
Time will tell how Mazepin would perform in that Ferrari seat, and whether the expectations from the team are realistic given his current performances, but the thing everyone will be looking out for is Mazepin’s on-track antics. Ferrari have had a plethora of controversial incidents over the years. Whether it was prost and senna colliding to decide the world championship or Schumacher trying to take Jacques Villeneuve out of the last race of 1997, this is one piece of their legacy that Mazepin will carry on.