Haas driver Nikita Mazepin continued his unfavorable training in Formula 1 on Friday when he failed TWICE in practice before the second race on Sunday in the F1 schedule at Imola.
The 22-year-old Mazepin got off to a difficult start to his Formula 1 career after his fall on the first lap at the last opener in Bahrain ended his first race just seconds after it started – and it doesn’t seem like luck That all changed in the days that followed after a few more misjudgments sparked fan concern that the Russian was over his head on the racetrack.
At the start of his FP1 session on Friday – the first of three practice runs on the Imola track – Mazepin again lost control of his Haas car and spun on the track, sparking a wave of ridicule on social media.
For the inexperienced driver, however, things got worse and worse when he lost control of his car again towards the end of practice and hit the barrier shortly before entering the pit lane, which resulted in the race management hoisting the red flag within a minute stay on the clock.
A red flag in Formula 1 means the officials deemed the meeting or race too dangerous to continue, usually due to debris on the track following an accident.
Mazepin jokes aside, I’m actually pretty worried that at some point he will be involved in a really dangerous accident that may involve other drivers. The guy literally cannot control the car, he is a danger to himself and others at the moment imo.
– Matt Gallagher (@ MattyWTF1) April 16, 2021
The Russian’s recent mishaps on an F1 track have predictably spawned a chorus of memes and trolls on social media – but some have warned of the potential dangers of an inexperienced driver who appears to be “learning on the job” at the very top of his sport .
“Mazepin jokes aside, I’m actually pretty worried that at some point he will be involved in a really dangerous accident that may involve other drivers,” warned one fan.
“The guy literally can’t control the car, he’s a danger to himself and others at the moment.”
Mazepin’s recent high profile mistakes come after telling the media that his high profile exit from the Bahrain GP last month “won’t happen again”.
“Dealing with the past is not a good way to improve, but learning and analyzing were important but that was done a week ago. Now our eyes are on the next weekend and carry that knowledge over to the next race,” said he this week.
“I would only say pushing 101% when the wind is strong and changing all the time. I didn’t expect that and was in no way ready for it, but I had a pretty tough learning curve to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
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Despite Friday’s mistakes, Mazepin, who joined the Haas team this season with Mick Schumacher, son of F1 icon Michael, was still a bit faster than his teammate in the first practice session.
The Russian will try to build his fortune over the next two workouts – but he will know he will need to perform near flawlessly in those two runs so that he does not again attract the ire of an expectant public on social media.
During an eventful first practice session at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Sergio Perez from Red Bull and Esteban Ocon from Alpine collided, which briefly interrupted the training session. The couple were called to the stewards, but no further action was taken.