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Mazepin gets Mercedes F1 test outing

NEWS STORY
13/05/2019

While the rest of us had to accept Scalextric or Hot Wheels as kids, F2 driver Nikita Mazepin, is currently running a private F1 test programme, much like the 80m programme funded by Lance Stroll's father a couple of years back before the Canadian joined Williams.

The 20-year-old, who finished runner-up in the 2018 GP3 championship, and is currently 16th in the F2 championship, is completing a programme of twelve days of private F1 testing this year in a 2017 Mercedes W08.

Previously, the youngster had been test driver for Force India, but that particular relationship came to an end when the Silverstone-based outfit went into administration. Though his father's potash company was linked with a buy-out of the team, it was subsequently Stroll's billionaire dad who won the day.

Test regulations stipulate that teams must run 'young drivers' on two of the four days of in-season testing, a 'young driver' regarded as someone who has contested less than two Grands Prix.

While George Russell was eligible to contest the post-Bahrain test, the Briton no longer counts as a 'young driver' as he now has five races under his belt, even though he would probably rather forget about them.

Consequently, even though he has no official ties with the Brackley outfit, Mercedes has announced that Mazepin will partner Valtteri Bottas at this week's test, which gets underway tomorrow.

A number of other young drivers will be in action alongside Mazepin, including Calum Ilott at Alfa Romeo, Antonio Fuoco at Ferrari and Nicholas Latifi, who has two days in the Williams. (Don't go there).

Check out our Sunday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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