Force India junior Mazepin scores first single-seater win

Leave a comment

Force India Formula 1 youngster Nikita Mazepin picked up his first victory in single-seaters on Sunday during the BRDC British Formula 3 round at Snetterton.

Mazepin, 17, enjoyed his first F1 test with Force India at Silverstone last month as part of his development role with the team.

The Russian driver currently sits 19th in the FIA European F3 standings with five points to his name, and made his debut in the British championship this weekend at Snetterton.

Mazepin dominated the second of three races over the weekend, going lights-to-flag to give Carlin its third straight victory in the series.

“It is quite a big day for me. The plan for me coming into single-seaters was always to compete in the best single-seater categories so it wasn’t easy,” Mazepin said.

“We haven’t started this year off perfectly but we have managed to come back strong with a good result in FIA European F3 at Spa, with my Formula 1 test performance and now my first win in single-seaters.

“It has been a challenging weekend for me, starting off a little bit behind on Thursday. Most of the guys here are on their penultimate round so have a lot more experience so I have had to get my head together and really push.

“With reverse grid pole I was able to pull away and I think I had strong pace anyway. It is a great experience, a great championship and a great track so I am just really happy at the moment.”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).