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Mazepin hopes to avoid repeat of first-year woes in F1 debut

Mazepin hopes to avoid repeat of first-year woes in F1 debut

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Mazepin hopes to avoid repeat of first-year woes in F1 debut

Mazepin hopes to avoid repeat of first-year woes in F1 debut

Nikita Mazepin is hoping to shake off his usual first-season blues and "deliver straight away" when making his Formula 1 debut with Haas this season.

A pattern has emerged throughout Mazepin's career where he has struggled during a maiden campaign in a series before improving in year two.

In the F3 European Championship with Hitech GP across 2016 and '17, the Russian finished 20th in the standings in his debut year, scoring just 10 points, before improving to 10th with 108 points the following season.

A strong 2018 followed in GP3 as Mazepin was runner-up in his sole campaign in that series, only for his F2 exploits to then mirror F3 as he scored just 11 points en route to 18th in 2019 before soaring to fifth and 164 points last year.

“I have to be honest and say it has never been intentional," said Mazepin, speaking prior to his highly publicised groping incident in December.

"Obviously, being a racing driver, my goal and everyone’s goal is to perform at the highest possible level but it doesn’t always go your way, unfortunately.

"I would say that it’s not my approach definitely, however, racing in F3 and going to GP3, racing, in general, is a sport where there is more than one person involved.

"So, for me, perhaps the reason why results came a little bit later is that throughout my career I haven’t quite managed to put everything together - meaning my team, myself and my set up - to be able to deliver straight away. I needed more time.

“Going into F1 I hope that this will change.”

Mazepin will race alongside fellow rookie Mick Schumacher at Haas this year, the German F2 champion also regarded as a driver who performs stronger at the second time of asking.

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