Nikita Mazepin will race for Haas F1 in 2021

Mazepin Haas Formula 1
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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.

Nikita Mazepin (No. 24) of Russia drove to a fifth-place finish in the feature race of the Hitech Grand Prix at Bahrain on November 28, 2020 (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images).

“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.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.