Formula 1

F1 News: Nikita Mazepin Blames ‘Drive to Survive’ for His Haas Exit

Former F1 driver Nikita Mazepin was at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend and has shared some advice to social media about the driver’s who have not managed to keep a seat for the next season. Mazepin details what they will be feeling over the next few days/months and also puts blame on Netflix’s ‘Drive To Survive’ as the reason he left the sport.

Mazepin joined Haas F1 team in 2020 on a multi-year deal, however, the team made the decision to end his contract ahead of the 2022 season which is when they brought on Kevin Magnussen.

The decision to end Russian driver, Mazepin’s time in the sport came as part of the wider response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The FIA terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix at the same time.

BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, BAHRAIN – MARCH 25: Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1, in the press conference during the Bahrain GP at Bahrain International Circuit on Thursday March 25, 2021 in Sakhir, Bahrain. (Copyright Free for Editorial Use Only. Credit: FIA Pool / LAT Images)

Mazepin’s social media statement read:

“At this weekend’s F1 race in Abu Dhabi. Nice to be here as a guest and see old friends. Got me thinking about words of wisdom I can share with Seb, Daniel, Nicky and Mick as they get ready to move on. So, here’s what awaits you in the 5 stages of departing the stable…

“Stage 1: Denial. You will find yourself driving circles around your apartment building. Don’t make the mistake I made – turn on your stopwatch. It’s entirely possible that another F1 team will be interested in your results, and you won’t have to endure the next 4 stages.

“Stage 2: Anger. You blame everyone but yourself for having to leave F1. Particularly the “Drive to Survive” film crew. You watch the races obsessively and yell at the screen.

‘Drive To Survive’ has propelled the sport massively to gain more fans and gave a great insight for news fans into the ins and outs of the sport as well as giving an introduction to the drivers.

AUTODROMO NAZIONALE MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 11: Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1 during the Italian GP at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Saturday September 11, 2021 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Andy Hone / LAT Images)

Mazepin’s statement continued:

“Stage 3: Bargaining. You hold a press conference where you put on a brave face and thank the team principal who fired you in hopes that your cheerful smile and natural charm will get you a seat with a new team.

“Stage 4: Depression. Drink, party on yacht, sleep it off, gain 5 kilos. Repeat on endless loop. This will not be an easy stage to get through, but your friends will enjoy it.

“Stage 5: Acceptance. Congratulations. You’ve reached the final Grand Prix of being shown the exit. You stop obsessing about F1 and start thinking about your next steps.. while keeping yourself in shape and keeping the door open for a return!”

“@sebastianvettel, total respect to your climate initiatives. I’m sure they will be of great use not only to the racing community.

“@danielricciardo, I know you will always keep your sense of humour. I predict great things for you in Stage 4, where you can drink all kinds of things out of your shoes. Be creative!

“Nicholas, thanks to you, the team and fans can look optimistically into the future. No doubt you will surprise us.

“@mickschumacher, we grew up in this sport together, and I wish you luck going forward. I’m sure we will get a lot of likes from Pierre Gasly. Peace and love to all.”

Mazepin addressed the driver’s that have not been able to extend their contracts into the 2023 season, Daniel Ricciardo, Mick Schumacher, and Nicholas Latifi as well as Sebastian Vettel who is retiring from the sport.

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