Nikita Mazepin handed F1 seat with Haas for the 2021 season as team announce Russian – whose billionaire father is investing in the team – as first driver of an all-new line-up
- Nikita Mazepin is currently racing in F2 and has been an F1 test driver previously
- He is the first name announced by Haas in their all-new driver line-up for 2021
- Both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are being let go by the Americans
- Mazepin’s billionaire father Dmitry is set to become a major investor in Haas F1
Haas have revealed Nikita Mazepin as their first driver of an all-new line-up for the 2021 Formula One season.
The American team, who currently sit ninth in the constructors’ standings with three points for the season, confirmed in October that neither Romain Grosjean or Kevin Magnussen would be retained for next year.
In the weeks that followed, rumours have swirled over their replacements, and now F2 star Mazepin has been confirmed as the first of their new drivers.
Nikita Mazepin has been announced as Haas’ first driver in their all-new line-up for 2021 season
Mazepin is currently racing in F2 and sits third in the drivers’ championship with one race to go
The 21-year-old Russian, whose billionaire father Dmitry is set to become a major investor in the team, is currently third in the F2 Championship this season, behind Mick Schumacher and Brit Callum Ilott.
Ilott revealed earlier this week that he has missed out on a seat in F1 for next season, while the other Haas seat is likely to be handed to Schumacher, the talented son of seven-time world champion Michael.
Haas revealed on Tuesday that Mazepin has signed a ‘multi-year deal’ with the team, making the big step up to a main seat in F1 having previously tested for Force India in 2016, 2017 and 2018, as well as Mercedes in 2019.
Mazepin’s billionaire father Dmitry is set to invest heavily in Haas’ Formula One team
Mazepin, left, has previously been a test driver for Force India – now known as Racing Point
Mazepin, who becomes the fourth Russian to race in F1, has two victories and four other podiums in the 2020 F2 season with one race to go.
Haas have also revealed that reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will replace Grosjean at this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix following his fireball smash at the Bahrain race on Sunday.
Grosjean’s helmet visor melted as he sat in the wreckage of his car, which broke in half and burst into flames following the 140mph crash, but miraculously the Frenchman limped away with only minor burns.
Current Haas driver Grosjean will not race this weekend after his horror smash in Bahrain
He escaped with minor burns after his car split in half, and Pietro Fittipaldi will step in for him