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Mazepin to get private F1 test programme?

NEWS STORY
28/01/2019

It is understood that Russian hopeful, Nikita Mazepin, is to undergo a private F1 test programme using a 2017 Mercedes.

Autosport claims that the 19-year-old, who finished runner-up in the 2018 GP3 championship, having won three races, will complete twelve days of testing this year - alongside his F2 commitments - in the 2017 Mercedes W08.

This of course, echoes the private test programme undertaken by Lance Stroll in 2016 ahead of his F1 debut a year later, when the youngster drove at various circuits in a 2014 car, in a programme rumoured to have cost his father around 80m.

With the running of contemporary machinery in tests strictly limited, such programmes can only use machinery designed and built to the regulations three years "immediately prior to the calendar year preceding the (current) championship", therefore while Stroll used the 2014 car in 2017, Mazepin may use the car fielded by Mercedes as recently as 2017.

As Autosport makes clear, testing may only be carried out with cars "built to the specification of the period" and using tyres "manufactured specifically for this purpose".

It is understood that Mazepin's programme will be fully bought and paid for and has no official affiliation with Mercedes, which has Esteban Ocon as its reserve driver this year.

Indeed, at a time most will be wondering 'whatever happened to the days when dads bought their son train sets?', it is understood Ocon will act as driver coach to Mazepin at the sessions - though hopefully this will not include how to best eliminate your teammate.

Mazepin, of course, has F1 testing experience with Force India, the potash fertilizer producing company, Uralkali, of which his father Dmitry Mazepin is a non-executive director, currently involved in legal action over the handling of the sale of the Silverstone-based team last year.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Ro, 28/01/2019 17:45

"Early practice in an old car did nothing for Stroll. Its a total waste of time."

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