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Nikita Mazepin signs multi-year Haas contract

By Tom Webber

Sakhir (Bahrain), December 1: Nikita Mazepin has signed a multi-year deal to drive for Haas in Formula One from next season.

Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, is expected to join Mazepin in a new-look line-up for Haas in 2021 after the team decided to part ways with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

The 21-year-old Russian sits third in this year's Formula Two standings, winning two feature races and finishing on the podium a further four times.

"Becoming a Formula One driver is a lifelong dream come true for me. I really appreciate the trust being put in me by Gene Haas, Gunther Steiner, and the whole of the team. They're giving a young driver an opportunity and I thank them for that," said Mazepin.

"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 Two 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."

Team principal Steiner said: "I'm delighted that Nikita Mazepin will be driving for Haas next season.

"Nikita has underlined his credentials in Formula Two this year with a brace of victories and a handful of podiums in what's been a strong sophomore season for him.

"He's developed into a mature racer moving up through the junior ranks – notably most recently in the GP3 Series, where he finished runner-up in 2018, and obviously in Formula Two over the past two seasons.

"I'm excited to see what Nikita can achieve in Formula One and we look forward to giving him the opportunity to compete at the highest level of world motorsport.

"With a record-setting 23-race schedule set for the 2021 Formula One world championship, he's going to get plenty of track action to learn all the nuances of grand prix racing."

Haas will have Pietro Fittipaldi on the grid for this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix after Romain Grosjean suffered burns in a frightening crash in the first race in Bahrain.

Grosjean is expected to be discharged from hospital on Tuesday (December 1).

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Story first published: Tuesday, December 1, 2020, 14:20 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 1, 2020