Russian Formula 2 driver Nikita Mazepin will race for Haas F1 in 2021. Mazepin has been signed to a mutliyear deal, though the length of the contract was not announced.
“I’m delighted that Nikita Mazepin will be driving for Haas F1 Team next season,” said Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner at Formula1.com. “Nikita has underlined his credentials in Formula 2 this year with a brace of victories and a handful of podiums in what’s been a strong sophomore season for him.
“I’m excited to see what Nikita can achieve in Formula 1 and we look forward to giving him the opportunity to compete at the highest level of world motorsport.”
Mazepin is the son of Dmitry Mazepin, a Russian billionaire and principal shareholder of a chemicals company who has been linked to buying into other F1 teams including Force India and Williams.
Mazepin currently sits third in the Formula 2 behind Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott. He has F1 experience in a test role with Force India from 2016 through 2018. He had a similar role in 2019 with Mercedes.
“Becoming a Formula 1 driver is a lifelong dream come true for me,” said Mazepin. “I really appreciate the trust being put in me by Gene Haas, Guenther Steiner, and the whole of the team. They’re giving a young driver an opportunity and I thank them for that.”
The news of Mazepin’s advancement comes two days after another Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean was involved in a fiery crash on the opening lap of the Bahrain GP.
Grosjean will be replaced for this week’s Sakhir GP by Pietro Fittipaldi.
Haas F1 will not bring back either Kevin Magnussen or Romain Grosjean back in 2021, which left both seats open.
Haas has not yet announced a driver for their second entry in 2021, although Schumacher is rumored to be the favorite for that ride. An announcement about Schumacher could come later this week.
A message from @nikita_mazepin, who joins us from next season.
Welcome to the team Nikita! #HaasF1 pic.twitter.com/aVn21qJ9AP
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) December 1, 2020