Mazepin: Regardless of what Haas say, my job is to beat Schumacher

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Nikita Mazepin says beating Mick Schumacher is his "job" in 2021, regardless of whether Haas may favour his teammate.

The Russian hasn't turned a wheel for the American team yet but has already got off on the wrong foot at Haas after a groping incident with a female caused a storm on social media.

Soon, however, attention will turn to his performance on the track and Mazepin, who finished fifth in last year's F2 championship, is keen to make a positive impression.

“You know when you get into F1 there is almost one shot at it, I believe, and it has never been a consideration of how that would be for me,” he said via GPFans.

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“I had this opportunity to come up. We decided to take it on and, regardless of what [Haas team boss] Guenther [Steiner] has said, I would say that my job is to outperform my teammate, as always, and do the best I can.

“So the pressure is still there on my shoulders. I believe I am ready for F1 and I want to show it to the team first of all.”

Of course, given the huge amount of attention Schumacher's rookie year in F1 will generate, if Mazepin can get the upper hand then it would validate Haas' decision to sign him.

Maze Schu

But to do that, Nikita knows he must be strong from the very first race.

“Obviously, being a racing driver, my goal and everyone’s goal is to perform at the highest possible level but it doesn’t always go your way, unfortunately,” he added.

“For me, perhaps the reason why results came a little bit later is that throughout my career I haven’t quite managed to put everything together – meaning my team, myself and my set up – to be able to deliver straight away. I needed more time.

“Going into F1 I hope that this will change.”