Mercedes’ decision not to use Nikita Mazepin during the Young Driver Test is not due to his recent actions, according to team principal Toto Wolff.
Mazepin was expected to drive for Mercedes in next week’s one-day test after having previously carried out extensive private testing with the team, and also appeared in the 2019 car during last year’s in-season test in Barcelona. However, this week he was heavily criticized for what Haas described as an “abhorrent” video posted to his social media that showed him groping a female in a car.
Mercedes has now confirmed its Formula E driver line-up of Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries will take part in the Young Driver Test on Tuesday, but Wolff said that Mazepin’s exclusion was not related to the social media incident.
“We had an extensive testing program with him throughout the year with a two-year-old car, but for the young driver test, we decided on the line-up over the last few days, and providing the opportunity to Stoffel and Nyck is good,” Wolff told Sky Sports.
“They’re our works drivers in Formula E, they’ve done a super, solid job, and also with Stoffel not being in the car last week, it made sense to put the two in the car.
“No, it’s nothing to do with his (Mazepin’s) actions. The most important was to have some learning from the test.”
Haas is only running one car during the test, with Mazepin’s 2021 team-mate Mick Schumacher driving on Tuesday. Schumacher also made his first FP1 appearance for the team in Abu Dhabi on Friday.