Nikita Mazepin says Formula 1 is a world of every man for himself. In fact, the Haas F1 Team rookie says that he doesn’t even have a simulator with the team for training and practice.
Meanwhile, Mazepin believes his teammate, Mick Schumacher, probably has access to a simulator.
The Russian rookie has also taken a lot of heat for his on and off-track behavior of late, including being accused of breaking gentleman’s agreements between the drivers. His latest breach of F1 etiquette was overtaking Antonio Giovinazzi in qualifying. It was a move that earned him a strong rebuke by the Alfa Romeo driver, who accused 22-year-old Mazepin of disrespect.
“Over the past two weekends, this standard of behavior has surprised me,” Mazepin told the Russian sports broadcaster Match TV. “Each of us has a team, who give us the instructions to follow. On both occasions, I followed the instructions but there are some unspoken rules.
“Yes, I’m still learning. But I crossed the line two seconds before the end of the session. If I had stayed behind him, I would not have had time for another lap. It’s unpleasant that it happened, but here it’s every man for himself.”
After his troubled start to his F1 career, Mazepin admits Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola was “psychologically exhausting” in the circumstances and slippery conditions. Mazepin finished 17th, two laps behind race-winner Max Verstappen.
“And everyone is watching you,” Mazepin said. “The slightest misstep has big consequences. Formula 1 is a very difficult sport, but when you close the visor, you don’t have time to think about anything else.”
Finally, Mazepin lamented the fact that, unlike his teammate Mick Schumacher, he is unable to prepare for the next race at Portimao, Portugal, in a proper F1 team simulator.
“We don’t have a simulator in our team, so we have to use simulators that most professional drivers have at home,” Mazepin said.
When asked if Schumacher—a Ferrari Driver Academy product—is permitted to use the Ferrari simulator, Mazepin added: “Probably, but as I am not a member of that youth team, I do not have such a privilege.
“I will prepare for Portimao here in Moscow.”
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