F1: Franz Tost Skeptical of Haas Rookie Nikita Mazepin’s Ability to Succeed


Nikita Mazepin (Photo Credit: Haas F1 Team Twitter)

As a keen observer of fresh talent racing in the junior ranks, Franz Tost’s doubts emerge from Nikita Mazepin’s temperament and character.

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  • Last Updated: February 20, 2021, 18:02 IST

AlphaTauri principal Franz Tost is highly doubtful that Nikita Mazepin, who will be making his debut at Haas, will have much of a career in Formula 1. Tost, who has mentored many young talents in F1, is skeptical of the Haas F1 Team rookie based on what he’s seen so far from the young Russian. As a keen observer of fresh talent racing in the junior ranks, Tost’s doubts emerge from Mazepin’s temperament and character. The Austrian values these key components for any young gun who aims to race at the highest level. The Alpha Tauri boss reckons that Mazepin’s ways don’t bode well for his F1 career prospects.

In a recent interview with Auto Motor und Sport, when asked about Mazepin, Tost commented, “I could get brutal again and say you can’t make a tiger out of a cow! In the end, it always depends on how much brain a driver has and then switches on in the cockpit.” He added that for him what matters more is how much of a brain the driver has. The way he sees it, only intelligent drivers become successful in the cockpit and they behave accordingly as well. Tost, in his long time in motorsport, has found that intelligent drivers who know why they are doing something, will only prevail.

Mazepi will pair with Mick Schumacher at Haas this season. The 21-year-old Russian has been a constant in the limelight, thanks to his off-track antics. Since his junior racing seasons, he has been a regular of backlash on social media and has made headlines for the wrong reasons. Last year, he issued a public apology for his inappropriate behaviour online. Mazepin’s on-track antics have also proved unpopular in the past. Following a race incident, he slapped teammate Calum Illot following. Last summer, he was portrayed on video in an alleged groping incident. After the Russian uploaded the abhorrent video, massive outrage on the internet followed. This controversy had ended in a ban by the F1 community from the series before his debut.

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