Mazepin hits back at Hamilton's 'billionaire kids' jibe

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Nikita Mazepin
Nikita Mazepin
Laurent Charniaux

Nikita Mazepin has hit back at Lewis Hamilton's complaint that Formula 1 has become a "billionaire kids' club".

The seven time world champion was clearly referring to the likes of Mazepin, Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi and other current drivers whose fathers are all famously wealthy.

When asked about his own privilege as the son of Russian industrialist and billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, Nikita said: "Every new driver in Formula 1 has received support from sponsors.

"Some are the makers of energy drinks, one is the richest man in Mexico - these are all people who are on the grid today that we could all talk about as well."

Mazepin has had a horror introduction to Formula 1 with a spate of on and off-track controversies, but he insists he has no personal animus with Hamilton.

READ | The billionaire fathers who invested in F1 teams to secure race seats for their sons

"We have always had a very correct relationship," he told sports.ru.

"We haven't communicated much, but in the paddock everyone is very polite so I don't feel anything negative."

Mazepin, 22, even thanked drivers like Lando Norris who have publicly defended the Russian from vitriolic online attacks.

"My manager, who used to work with Lando, sent me that video. I think he has also found himself in difficult situations in his career," he said of the McLaren driver.

"During the stream, he simply disagreed with those who joined in on the hate about me. I have to say I was really happy about that - I have always had a good relationship with him."

Mazepin says he has also received support from a couple of world champions.

"Due to covid, the F1 teams are stuck in these bubbles so I've actually seen and talked with very few people," he said.

"Of the drivers I have seen, I have very good relationships with all of them. I would especially point out the older generation such as Alonso and Vettel. Very nice men.

"I remember seeing them as a child as superheroes and now I see they are very open and down to earth."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is the better F1 driver between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Lewis Hamilton
35% - 477 votes
Max Verstappen
65% - 889 votes
Vote