Haas has confirmed that Formula 2 driver Nikita Mazepin will race for the team in 2021 after signing the Russian to a multi-year contract.
Mazepin has won two races in this year’s F2 championship and is third in the standings with one round remaining after picking his fourth second-place finish on Sunday in Bahrain. He has previously tested for Racing Point when it was known as Force India, as well as for Mercedes off the back of a wider private testing program, and will make his F1 debut next season.
“Becoming a Formula 1 driver is a lifelong dream come true for me,” Mazepin said. “I really appreciate the trust being put in me by Gene Haas, Guenther Steiner, and the whole of the team. They’re giving a young driver an opportunity, and I thank them for that.
“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 2 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.”
Mazepin was the runner-up to Anthoine Hubert in the 2018 GP3 championship, and Haas team principal Steiner said his development and recent results make him worthy of an F1 seat.
“I’m delighted that Nikita Mazepin will be driving for Haas F1 Team next season,” Steiner said. “Nikita has underlined his credentials in Formula 2 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 2 over the past two seasons.
“I’m excited to see what Nikita can achieve in Formula 1 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 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, he’s going to get plenty of track action to learn all the nuances of grand prix racing.”
Mazepin is set to be paired with Mick Schumacher as part of an all-rookie line-up at Haas next season.