Russian driver Nikita Mazepin had the worst start to the new F1 season. At the first Grand Prix in Bahrain, he encountered a barrier in a crash at the end of the race before being mocked online for his misery.
Mazepin was furious with the early season opener crash that came after spinning twice in qualifying.
On his debut in the championship, the 22-year-old suffered a catastrophic exit after just three corners.
“Very easy – I made a mistake,” he said afterwards, adding that the tires were cold and he was installing the curb while accelerating too much.
“It’s totally my fault. I’m very sorry for the team because they deserve to be much better. I’m very angry with myself and apologize for the team.
“Of course there is always something positive to do. My days on the right track are very long. They involve a lot of things so the learning experience is obviously there.
“You learn a lot during the day. You have your ups and downs, but this is one of the greatest lows, but that’s life.”
The boy was taunted by social media jokers with a barrage of memes. “Mazespin is going to ruin every single GP this year,” said one.
“Don’t be so hard on him,” said another. “He left the race for all of us on lap one.”
Not all were interested in joining the stack, however. “Anyone who is happy to see someone hit a wall needs to see a therapist. Like Mazepin or not, do not wish him harm,” warned one.
Mazepin, who works with Michael Schumacher’s son Mick in Haas, has to live with his shame for at least three weeks.
His next opportunity to at least make it to the second round will be in Imola, Italy.
The Briton Lewis Hamilton started his title defense in Bahrain and triumphed in an exciting way – he won by 0.7 seconds.
Nikita Mazepin could crash a stationary bike. That’s ironic because you’d think he’d be great in a spin class. # WTF1 # BahrainGP
– Luke Mitchell (@lukeyygt) March 28, 2021
It’s a shame to see a rookie keep crashing in practice and then crashing on the first lap of his first F1 race … just not if it’s Nikita Mazepin.
– William Nylander, Ph.D. (@NylanderPhD) March 28, 2021
In a taste of what fans can expect for the key battle for the crown in 2021, Hamilton was nearly beaten by Dutch rival Max Verstappen.
However, with five laps remaining, Verstappen performed an illegal maneuver after also incorrectly setting a pit stop.
Verstappen withdrew from Hamilton at Turn 4 and came off the track in an overtaking maneuver.
This resulted in his Red Bull team asking Verstappen to allow his rival to take the lead again in a series of mistakes against rival Mazepin.
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