• Nikita Mazepin made his Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
• His race lasted only three corners before crashing out.
• Twitter has shown the debutant no mercies as they mercilessly troll him.
• For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24
When the Haas Formula 1 team announced that they would be fielding a new diver line-up in 2021, few were shocked when Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin were announced as the drivers. In Mick's case, his signing was merited, given that he is the reigning 2020 Formula 2 champion and the son of racing legend Michael Schumacher. Mazepin, on the other hand, was known for his father's money and buying his way into motorsport.
Dad Dimitry would sponsor teams in return for his son to race for that team. The same applied at Haas when Mazepin Sr.'s company, Uralkali, invested US$20 million in the team for 2021, with the same amount penned in for 2022.
This angered fans because Nikita Mazepin has not once in his 'racing career' proven that he is a driver worthy of his seat. His temper has caused many fights with fellow competitors, but his father's money always seems to squash any real punishment. In short, Mazepin's arrival in F1 was condemned from the moment it was announced, and his performance in Bahrain would have done his cause absolutely no favours.
Throughout the racing weekend in Bahrain, Mazepin failed to settle into his Haas F1 car. The team, expectedly, was the slowest of the ten teams, with Mazepin and Schumacher bringing up the rear of the field. Team boss Guenther Steiner was seemingly not too worried about their performances, attributing it to the fact that they are green and would have to learn as they go along.
But while Schumacher steadily came to grips with his car, Mazepin, on the face of it, went backwards. He could not set the car, he failed to find the right balance, and spun four times throughout the weekend, including during qualifying and the race.
In qualifying, he passed a train of cars down the back straight, only to spin out at the first corner, resulting in the yellow flags being waved and other drivers backing off - affecting their lap times. In the race, he spun at the third turn on the first lap, ending his race before it even got underway. After the race, Mazepin felt the internet's wrath, with Twitter, especially, attacking the Russian driver and questioning his place in F1.
Mazepin's team mate had a relatively better Sunday, finishing down in 16th place. Both Schumacher and Mazepin had strong F2 seasons in own right, with Mazepin taking three wins in last year's campaign. As such, perhaps the F1 world should give the young Russian a fair chance to prove himself rather than condemning his season before it's even got underway. Mazepin is a polarising figure, but should be allowed to prove himself on track.
Do you agree with comments that Nikita Mazepin does not belong in F1? Email us or use the comment section below.
See some of the worst Twitter reactions on Mazepin's spin below: