Terrify Nikita Mazepin makes his Formula One debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Prior to his debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Haas Formula One driver Nikita Mazepin made headlines for all the wrong reasons, and things didn’t get any better for the 22-year-old once the racing began.
His qualifying session was notable for two spins, which he blamed on a brake problem, as well as breaching a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ as the drivers prepared for their final hot-laps, earning him the wrath of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.
Mazepin passed Vettel on the back straight just before the qualifying lap started, violating the law that drivers must retain position. Mazepin then spun at the first turn, causing Vettel’s lap to be hindered.
The Russian fared no better in the rally, with his car crashing into the barriers just seconds after the lights went out.
Mazepin actually lost control when he sped out of turn three and speared into the fence, thankfully just injuring his pride.
On Sky Sports, Martin Brundle said, “There’s no point in going off the road when you’re in the slowest car on the grid.”
“What you have to do now is get around the first few corners.”
He got a little too excited with the throttle and ended up in his own crash.”
After the race, the 22-year-old apologised and accepted responsibility, despite receiving the unflattering nickname ‘Mazespin’ after his disastrous debut.
“It was a simple mistake, the tyres were cold, I got on the kerb, took too much throttle, and spun,” he said.
“Totally my fault, and I apologize to the team because they deserve so much more. So, I’m furious with myself, and I’m sorry for the squad.” Obviously, you learn a lot over the days, and you have your ups and downs, with today being one of the worst, but that is life.”
Mazepin’s teammate and fellow rookie Mick Schumacher came in 16th.
In the months leading up to his debut, Mazepin has been the subject of much debate. After a “abhorrent” video of him groping a woman in a car surfaced, he was forced to apologize.
Mazepin, the son of a Russian billionaire, brings a lot of money to the Haas team, making it impossible for the team to punish the F1 novice too harshly.
He finished fifth in the F2 championship last year, but his record of poor conduct dates back to an F3 race in 2016, when he hit a fellow driver in the chest, earning him a one-race suspension.
He’s also requested nude photos from a female fan in exchange for tickets and supported a racist tweet aimed at Japanese race car driver Yuki Tsunoda.