Haas open to Nikita Mazepin support from Hitech | F1 News by PlanetF101/10/2021
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner is open to Nikita Mazepin’s former colleagues at Hitech helping with his transition to Formula 1.
Mazepin finished P5 in the 2020 F2 Championship as part of the Hitech outfit, taking two race wins and a further four P2 finishes.
That form earned him a promotion to Haas for 2021 where he will make his Formula 1 debut alongside fellow F2 graduate and reigning series champion Mick Schumacher.
The Hitech team is run by former Red Bull junior driver Oliver Oakes, who also worked with Mazepin at karting level, so since Steiner has also built up a relationship with Oakes he is happy for Mazepin’s former colleagues to get involved at Haas if it helps their new recruit.
“I have got a good relationship built up with Oliver Oakes, because he looks after Nikita as a driver,” Steiner is quoted by GPFans.
“I think he was with him since Nikita was karting.
“We will see, but at the moment we are a team which is ready to have him and that is what we are going to do. If they can add something then why not?”
After finishing P2 with ART in the 2018 GP3 season, Mazepin struggled with the step up to F2 with the outfit for the following year, ending the campaign P18.
But his return to Hitech, who Mazepin had raced for in Formula 3, proved a step up in professionalism and gave him the platform which he needed to shine in Formula 2.
“I think it’s fair to say that we started in an okay place but we didn’t move forward at all,” said Mazepin as he recalled his stint with ART.
“Myself and the team’s philosophy on car set-up had not been going in the same direction and it’s also important to say that the people that I have worked with this year [in 2020] in Hitech are, in my opinion, the next step professionalism level.
“When I went to race with Hitech GP they hadn’t existed in Formula 2 previously.
“So although it is only 12 people, everybody needed to blend in with each other and it was a big task but I think the team handled it fantastically.
“For us to be able to do reasonably fast pit stops, make less mistakes than some teams with starting set-ups. I think it’s an achievement that’s worth noticing.”
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