Formula 1: ‘There’s absolutely no point in flying off the road!”

Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Formula 1 (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)
Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Formula 1 (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Nikita Mazepin capped off his disastrous Formula 1 debut weekend on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix with a turn three spin.

Six spins after arriving at Bahrain International Circuit for Formula 1 preseason testing, Haas rookie Nikita Mazepin has finally completed his first race weekend.

And he completed a grand total of two turns in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix to show for his efforts.

After spinning once in the first preseason testing three weekends ago, he spun in the second and third practice sessions ahead of qualifying for the race. Then in the first of three rounds of qualifying, he was eliminated after posting what was by far the slowest speed and spinning out twice.

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The second of those two spins came toward the end of the round after he violated the unwritten “gentlemen’s agreement” and messed up the laps of several drivers who actually had a chance to advance to the second round. The first only messed up the lap of teammate Mick Schumacher, who still ended up recording a top lap time that was 0.824 seconds quicker than Mazepin’s.

Thanks to Sebastian Vettel’s penalty and Sergio Perez’s mechanical issues, Mazepin started Sunday’s 56-lap race around the 15-turn, 3.363-mile (5.412-kilometer) road course in Sakhir, Bahrain in 18th place instead of 20th.

It for lasted a few seconds.

As he made his way into turn three, the 22-year-old Russian completely lost control of his VF-21 and slid into the barrier, ending his race.

It capped off what was truly one of the worst debuts in the history of motorsport, or in the history any sport for that matter, and after the negative attention that Mazepin garnered not only the offseason but that he has garnered throughout his racing career both on and off the track, it was quite entertaining for much of the fanbase to watch.

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It was so bad that even the Sky Sports F1 commentators had to call out his disastrous performance multiple times, and that is saying something considering rookie drivers tend to get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to making mistakes — especially in the first race of their careers.

After lead announcer David Croft repeated the “Mazespin” joke following Mazepin’s first spin in qualifying, which came before he had even completed a hot lap, commentator Martin Brundle called him out for his ridiculous first-lap crash in the race itself.

“There’s absolutely no point in flying off the road when you’re in the slowest car on the grid!” said Brundle on-air after the incident, much to the delight of the average fan.

Mazepin, who interestingly kind of pinned his second qualifying error on the team, knew it also. Here is what he had to say after his race ended.

"“It was very simple – I made a mistake. It was just one of those things. My start had been good, I got into turn one taking the outside line. I was then going through turn two and I was really trying to avoid Mick as he was close and got too much on power – the tires didn’t take it. They were cold, I got on the kerb, took too much throttle and spun.“It was totally my mistake, it’s very disappointing. I’m very sorry for the team as they deserved to do much better than that. Obviously, there’s always positives you can take – the learning experience is obviously there.”"

Let’s just hope that “my start had been good, I got into turn one” isn’t the only thing Mazepin can say after his next time out also, because as of right now, he has three times as many total spins as he does turns — not laps — completed in actual races.

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Will Mazepin’s second career Formula 1 race weekend go better than his first? Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari is scheduled to host the second race of the 2021 season, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, on Sunday, April 18, and ESPN is set to broadcast this race live beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET.