Haas confirms F2 driver Mazepin for 2021 F1 season

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Formula 2 driver Nikita Mazepin has been confirmed as a Haas driver for the 2021 Formula 1 season.

The Russian has been linked to the American squad for quite some time, with his billionaire father Dmitry also tied to an investment in the team.

However, Mazepin has shown potential in F2 winning twice this season and currently sits third in the standings in what has been a highly competitive championship.

“I’m delighted that Nikita Mazepin will be driving for Haas F1 Team next season,” stated team boss Guenther Steiner.

“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.

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"He’s developed into a mature racer moving up through the junior ranks – notably most recently in the GP3 Series, where he finished runner-up in 2018, and obviously in Formula 2 over the past two seasons.

"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.

"With a record-setting 23-race schedule set for the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, he’s going to get plenty of track action to learn all the nuances of Grand Prix racing.”

As for Mazepin himself, he has been pushing for an opportunity in F1 for several years, even testing with Mercedes last year.

And now that opportunity has arrived.

“Becoming a Formula 1 driver is a lifelong dream come true for me,” said the 21-year-old. “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. I’m looking forward to starting our relationship together, both on and off the track, and I’m naturally keen to continue to demonstrate my abilities after a strong Formula 2 season.

"The team will be looking to me for feedback and inputs in order to refine its package for 2021 and beyond. I will take that responsibility on and can’t wait to get started.”

It is expected Mazepin will be joined by fellow F2 driver Mick Schumacher next season, with that announcement rumoured to be made this week.