The FIA is not concerned about the number of incidents Nikita Mazepin has been involved in this season. In particular, the late defensive moves on straights, as he did again last Sunday in Russia, are criticized, but according to race director Michael Masi “not worrying”.
At the Sochi Autodrom, Mazepin came under fire after blocking the charging Yuki Tsunoda, who was using DRS, by making a last-minute left turn on the straight towards Turn 12. The Russian did the same before with teammate Mick Schumacher in Azerbaijan and Zandvoort, which he did not receive a penalty at the time. He also escaped a penalty in his home race and was only shown the black and white warning flag. It never came to crashes, but the actions were certainly not appreciated by his colleagues. Race director Michael Masi emphasizes that they take the incident seriously.
“He came to the left very late where Yuki was overtaking with DRS,” Masi says. “It’s one of those things that we’ve talked about a number of times and we’ve flagged it more than once. It is unsportsmanlike conduct and something we will not tolerate.”
Although Mazepin has been involved in similar incidents several times this season, Masi is not concerned about the Russian’s driving behaviour. “He’s probably visited the stewards a few times, but if you go through the list, there are probably other drivers who have visited as often, or even more often,” explains Masi. “I wouldn’t suggest that there is anything unpleasant or worrisome. If it requires more research, the stewards will of course do that. They make a decision based on the evidence in front of them and then they decide whether a sentence is necessary or not,” Masi said.