Ahead of this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix, Formula One’s sole American team Haas has announced that Formula 2 racer Nikita Mazepin would join the team in 2021.
Haas confirmed earlier that it would part ways with its current driver pair of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. The American team now announced that Nikita Mazepin would be one of is driver for the coming season.
“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.
“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.”
The 21-year-old Russian currently competes in the FIA Formula 2 Championship and finds himself in the sixth position with two races to go this season. He has won so far two F2 races in 2020 and has scored five podium finishes so far.
That is his second appearance in the F2 series after making his debut in Formula One’s main feeder series in 2019. Last year, he raced for ART Grand Prix and finished the season in 18th.
Previously, he competed in GP3 where he finished second in the Drivers’ Standings in 2018 with five victories to his name. He also took part in the Formula Renault 2.0 and FIA Formula 3 European Championship series.
Commenting on the announcement, Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner said: “I’m delighted that Nikita Mazepin will be driving for Haas F1 Team next season. 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.
“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,” he concluded.
Haas is yet to announce its second driver for the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship.