Formula 1

AlphaTauri F1 Team Principal Is No Fan of Haas Rookie Nikita Mazepin

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AlphaTauri Franz Tost has his doubts that Haas F1 Team rookie Nikita Mazepin will have much of a career in Formula 1.

Mazepin, a 21-year-old Russian who will pair with Mick Schumacher at Haas this season, has been a constant subject of backlash on social media after he was depicted last summer on video in an alleged groping incident.

Mazepin has also made other headlines for the wrong reasons in the past, following both on and off-track incidents during his junior career.

Alpha Tauri boss Tost says it all doesn’t bode well for Mazepin’s F1 career prospects.

“I could get brutal and say ‘You don’t make a tiger out of a cow’,” he told German media. “In the end, for me, it’s always about how much brain a driver has. The way I see it, in the end only intelligent drivers are the successful ones in the cockpit—and they behave accordingly.”

Tost is, however, impressed with some of the other new talent in and around Formula 1.

“Some very, very good young people are appearing in Formula 1 now,” Tost said. “In addition to Mick (Schumacher) and Yuki (Tsunoda), there is also Robert Shwartzman. I have a high regard for all three. They represent the generation that is destined to take over the future of Formula 1.”

Tsunoda has a ride at AlphaTauri this year, while Shwartzman is the 2019 F3 champion and member of the Ferrari Academy expected to be a favorite for the F2 championship in 2021. Schumacher won the F2 title in 2020, and he was followed in the standings by runner-up Callum Ilott, Tsunoda, Shwartzman and Mazepin.

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