Nikita Mazepin has come under fire once again after rival Antiono Giovinazzi claimed he “didn’t respect” a gentleman’s agreement in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The Haas driver got in the way of Giovinazzi's Alfa Romeo in the closing seconds of Q1, which hampered the Italian driver's lap preparation and played a role in him missing the cut for the second session.
Giovinazzi said: “It’s quite clear. We respect each other and it’s starting the lap and he didn’t respect. It’s not correct for a qualifying lap and I didn’t make my last lap, so it’s difficult.”
Alfa Romeo had expected to fight in the midfield this weekend but starting from the back will make that task considerably more difficult
Asked if he had or would take up the issue with Mazepin, Giovinazzi added: “Not yet.”
At the Bahrain season-opener, Mazepin was on the receiving end of criticism from drivers including Sebastian Vettel for breaking the gentleman's agreement regarding qualifying.
Explaining why he had again chosen to ignore the unwritten rule, Mazepin said: “You know, in F1 it’s a bit difficult. There’s 20 cars in segment one, which is where we are, everyone is going out at the same time.
“The track is just not big enough for all of us. We had this chat about a gentleman’s agreement, obviously, I didn’t have a problem with that, but when there’s three seconds left on the clock it’s either you go or you have to box and you’re going to cross the start-finish first.
“I don’t have an issue with it. I am here to do my laps and we are all in the same world.”
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