The recently recruited Haas F1 driver, Nikita Mazepin, has been under fire since the American team announced his Formula 1 arrival late last year. Furthermore, the disgust from the fans surged up a notch following the Russian’s problematic social media video, forcing some to categorize him as the most hated driver on the current grid.
When the issue came to light, fans were expecting to see Mazepin getting placed on the sidelines for a while. However, having dealt with the issue internally, Haas eventually announced that Mazepin would go ahead as their full-time driver.
It has been a while since Mazepin last faced public outrage. So, did the opposing die down?
Well, the answer is no. Fans are still fuming over the fact that Mazepin managed to escape the issue with just a verbal warning despite violating FIA and F1’s code of conduct.
Haas’ team principal, Guenther Steiner, too, mentioned that he is very much aware of the fans’ opinion over the controversial Mazepin incident. He also assured clarified that the Russian is learning from it and is aiming to become a better and a much-matured driver.
Haas F1 boss speaks up on the Mazepin incident
Speaking to RACER, Steiner felt that the hatred against Mazepin is still going strong. “He took immediate responsibility for his actions. He apologized,” he said.
“He’s learned from this experience. He’s undoubtedly been chastened by it. And he’ll apply that moving forward in his Formula 1 career. The response on social media towards him is still strong. We’re naturally aware of that via our team posts.
“While respecting that people are entitled to voice their opinions, no matter how vigorous, ass a team, we feel we have provided Nikita with the best environment to learn from this.”
Of course, Mazepin will receive more hatred as he races around each F1 circuit through the 2021 season, but it is all about recovery from here on.
He will be hoping to recapture the trust from the massive Formula 1 fandom.
But can he succeed in his pursuit of the fans’ love and respect? Well, only time will tell.