F1: Mazepin controversy “none of my concern”

by Dec 18, 20200 comments

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Mick Schumacher says the controversy surrounding his future F1 team mate Nikita Mazepin is a concern for Haas and not him.

The Formula 2 pair were announced earlier this month as Haas’s new drivers for the 2021 F1 season. However little more than a week after his grand prix debut was confirmed, Mazepin was seen grabbing a woman’s breast in a video posted on his Instagram profile.

Haas issued a statement condemning the video as “abhorrent”. The video was deleted, and Mazepin issued an apology. The team is considering what if any further action it may take.

Speaking in today’s FIA champions press conference, Schumacher said he hasn’t been closely involved with Mazepin since the pair drove for the same karting team six years ago.

Mazepin and Schumacher have been team mates before

“We’ve been team mates in Tony Kart in 2013 and 2014 so I got to know him there and he was very nice,” said Schumacher when asked by RaceFans about his history with Mazepin and the recent controversy. “There was a decent amount of respect between each other as team mates.

“After that, I don’t further know him that well. It’s going to be interesting to get to know him next year and obviously we’ve all grown, since.

“I’m sure the rest is all dealt [with] by the team and it’s none of my concern. Either way, I focus on myself and try and do my best results and try to work as close as I can with the team.”

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Schumacher clinched the Formula 2 title in the final race of the season at the Sakhir Grand Prix two weeks ago. Since the the Ferrari Driver Academy member has driven for Haas in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and completed a day of testing in preparation for his F1 race debut.

Mick Schumacher, Haas, Yas Marina, 2020
Schumacher did a test day in Abu Dhabi last week

“It’s been great,” he said. “The last few weeks has been a kind of period where I’m trying to realise what actually happened this year and how far we’ve gotten and where it came from.

“Definitely it was great to be with the Haas F1 team in Abu Dhabi, seeing how they work, how the structure is. Seeing also their views on certain things, on race management and all of that. It was really eye-opening to me and very helpful for me also going into the young driver test having had that weekend with them.”

Schumacher said his day of running in the VF-20 on Tuesday was very productive. “I really was able to say, ‘OK, those are my kind of views and what I want to learn’. Then mixing that up with the team’s recommendations and what the team also needs on data and stuff, I feel like both parties were very satisfied about how that test went.

“I learnt a massive amount of how to drive the F1 car and how it is to do the long runs. I really have to say, it’s so much fun. It’s so quick, those long runs and it’s completely different to F2. I’m just very much looking forward to to the first race now and I can’t wait to jump in the car again.”

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