Nikita Mazepin gave a brutally honest assessment about his relationship with Haas Formula 1 teammate and reigning Formula 2 champion Mick Schumacher.
Haas announced in October that they would be letting go of both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen at the end of the 2020 Formula 1 season.
This pairing had been tied for the longest paired teammate duo in Formula 1, having formed in 2017 along with the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Grosjean had competed for the team since they entered Formula 1 as the sport’s lone American team back in 2016, while Magnussen replaced Esteban Gutierrez after the 2016 season.
The team announced that Grosjean and Magnussen would be replaced by Mick Schumacher, the son of legendary seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher, and Nikita Mazepin, the son of Uralchem Integrated Chemicals Company chair and majority shareholder Dmitry Mazepin.
By the time the 2021 season is scheduled to get underway, both drivers will be just 22 years old, making up one of the youngest teammate duos in the history of Formula 1.
Mazepin, whose checkered past has been highlighted quite often as of late, offered a brutally honest assessment of what it will be like working with Schumacher.
While he clearly meant nothing malicious by it, he noted that Schumacher’s surname means absolutely nothing to him, and he added that he does not consider them to be friends with one another.
Here is what Mazepin had to say about his new teammate, according to Match TV.
“To be honest, his name does not matter to me. We are not friends, but I can call us old friends. We did karting together. The surname, of course, adds both strength and problems in terms of pressure and attention. But when you close the visor of your helmet, there is no time to think about it.”
Many expect Schumacher to handily defeat Mazepin in the Haas teammate battle in 2021, although it will be difficult for the team to score any points whatsoever given the struggles which they experienced throughout the 2020 season.
They secured just three points on two top 10 finishes in 2020: a 10th place effort by Magnussen at the Hungaroring and a ninth place effort by Grosjean at the Nurburgring.
Schumacher won the 2018 Formula 3 European Championship as well as the 2020 Formula 2 Championship, while Mazepin has not been a frequent winner throughout his professional motorsport career up to this point. The team even admitted that the primary reason why they hired him was his substantial financial backing, which comes from his billionaire father.
The Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled to get the 2021 season underway on Sunday, March 28 at Bahrain International Circuit, now that the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit has officially been postponed from Sunday, March 21 to Sunday, November 21 as a result of coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions in Melbourne, Australia.