Nikita Mazepin’s rocky start in F1 continues after the new Haas driver is penalized and labeled ‘idiot’ for holding Sergio Perez halfway through the Portuguese Grand Prix … despite being warned by his team to leave the way to go.
- The controversial Nikita Mazepin received the first penalty of his F1 career
- The Haas driver stopped race leader Sergio Perez in the Portuguese Grand Prix
- With the five-second penalty, Mazepin finished 19th behind the grid
Controversial driver Nikita Mazepin received the first penalty kick of his Formula 1 career after holding back race leader Sergio Perez during the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver labeled the Russian an ‘idiot’ on his team’s radio after the two nearly got together, despite Mazepin being shown blue flags.
The FIA and stewards investigated the incident, noting that his Haas team was slow to warn him about Perez, who was approaching the 22-year-old closer, but still gave him a time penalty and a point on his license.
The controversial driver Nikita Mazepin received the first penalty kick of his Formula 1 career
The Haas driver stopped race leader Sergio Perez during the Portuguese Grand Prix
With the five-second penalty, Mazepin still finished 19th on the grid as Kimi Raikkonen stopped the race and his position remained unchanged.
Formula 1 race director Michael Masi revealed that the penalty was more for the danger of not avoiding rather than ignoring persistent blue flags.
It wasn’t so much the number of blue flags that was ignored, it was more the incident featured on the broadcast, on the host, with Sergio in the third turn and the near-collision caused under blue flags.
‘It wasn’t really about the number of panels, it was more about not getting out of the way effectively at the first opportunity and almost causing an incident as a result.’
Mazepin’s start in Formula 1 has been fraught with controversy and disappointment since he was announced as one of two new drivers in Haas’ line-up.
His father Dmitry invested in the F1 team before the 2021 season during the coronavirus pandemic and it is well known that Nikita benefited from the sponsorship with a place on the grid.
However, immediately after he was announced by the US team, crowds of fans wanted the Russian to leave after a video he posted on social media of groping a woman’s breast.
Nikita Mazepin crashed after three innings of his Formula 1 debut race for the Haas team
In a clip from Instagram stories in December, Mazepin reaches a woman who is improperly sitting in the back seat of a car and appears to be touching it. He later apologized for the video
Despite strong will against Mazepin’s involvement in the F1 season, Haas stayed with their driver – but things didn’t get much better during his Bahrain debut.
Mazepin swerved into the barriers seconds after the start, with the new Aston Martin safety car deployed for the first time. He didn’t look hurt and was able to walk away from his wrecked car.
Sunday’s race at the Algarve International circuit marked the first time he completed a Formula 1 race after taking his car home last.