MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Russian auto racer Nikita Mazepin will join the world of FIA Formula 1 starting next year after he signed on Tuesday a multi-year contract with F1 Team Haas, the American team’s press office announced in a statement.
“Haas F1 Team has confirmed Russia’s Nikita Mazepin will drive for the American outfit in a multi-year deal starting with the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship,” the statement reads.
Mazepin, 21 is currently racing in FIA Formula 2 series for Team Hitech GP and is ranked 3rd at the moment in the overall drivers’ standings with 162 points.
“In a hotly contested Formula 2 season, Mazepin climbed to third in the points courtesy of a second-place finish in Sunday’s Round 11 Sprint race at Bahrain International Circuit,” according to the statement from Team Haas.
“The Hitech Grand Prix driver will compete in the Formula 2 season finale next weekend, also in Bahrain, before making the move up to Formula 1 with Haas F1 Team,” the statement added.
Earlier in the year, Team Haas announced that it decided to part starting next year with its current two racers, Kevin Magnussen of Denmark and Romain Grosjean of France.
Commenting on his contract with Haas and the opportunity to race in Formula 1, Mazepin said: “Becoming a Formula 1 driver is a lifelong dream come true for me.”
“I really appreciate the trust being put in me by Gene Haas, Guenther Steiner, and the whole of the team,” the Russian driver was quoted by the statement as saying. “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,” he added.
Mazepin, born on March 2, 1999 in Moscow, is now Russia’s fourth racer in the world’s most prestigious auto racing series, FIA Formula 1.
The first Russian racer in Formula One was Vitaly Petrov, who made his debut in 2010 and retired after the 2012 season.
Another Russian driver, Daniil Kvyat, raced for F1 Teams Red Bull and Toro Rosso at different times between 2014 and 2017. Kvyat missed the 2018 season and was back again racing for Team Toro Rosso in 2019, 2020.
Sergey Sirotkin raced for Team Williams during the 2018 FIA F1 World Championship and he was the third Russian to enter the world of Formula One.