Haas’ Nikita Mazepin Back Under the Microscope for F1 Driving Style

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi is refusing to condemn Haas F1 Team rookie Nikita Mazepin’s driving style.

The controversial Russian’s latest on-track dispute was with Yuki Tsunoda at the F1 Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, where race officials showed him the black and white flag for unsportsmanlike behavior. Masi agrees that Mazepin made his defensive move on the charging, DRS-assisted Alpha Tauri “too late.”

However, Masi refused to condemn the 22-year-old’s driving per se.

“We always analyze specific incidents, not complaints about someone’s driving in general,” Masi is quoted by Russian media. “If you start picking on driving styles, you know, there are 20 drivers in Formula 1, and each has his own style. Yes, some visit the stewards more often in a season, but I wouldn’t say there is something particularly disturbing about this case.

“As I said, we simply look at each specific incident. If an incident is worth investigating, the stewards look at it and pass their verdict based on the data and evidence at their disposal.”

Mazepin, 22, is last in the Formula 1 Drivers Standings. He’s finished on the lead lap in just two of the 14 races to date this season. While many F1 drivers have complained about Mazepin’s driving this season, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi has counted himself out of that group, despite a few close calls at Sochi.

“Nikita always moves very late in his defense,” the Canadian said. “But there is nothing wrong with that. It’s just Nikita’s style. It’s how he drives the car. In my opinion, it doesn’t seem to go beyond the scope. He always just delays his move until the last moment.

“Sure, it’s not the best situation for us, but what can you do?”

“Sure, it’s not the best situation for us, but what can you do?”


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