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Mazepin "very angry" following nightmare debut

NEWS STORY
29/03/2021

Nikita Mazepin admits to being "very angry" with himself following the mistake that ended his F1 race debut almost before it had begun.

Without doubt, quickest out of the blocks on Sunday when the last of the starting lights went out and the field headed into Turn 1, was the Twitter mob permanently focussed on Nikita Mazepin's exploits.

The Russian's car had barely come to halt following his spin at the opening corner, before his name began trending on Twitter, with all the memes and insults we have come to expect.

That said, even before the needless crash that wrecked his debut the Russian had hardly covered himself in glory, bringing out the yellow flags twice in qualifying, the second occasion compromising the efforts of a number of drivers.

When asked if he was OK following the crash, the subsequent silence spoke volumes. Eventually, the Russian responded: "I crashed... I'm so sorry guys.

"I got on the kerb, tried to avoid Mick and then spun," he added.

While Haas wasn't expecting to see a points finish, both drivers had been told before the race to bring their cars home.

"It was very simple, I made a mistake," said the Russian youngster later. "The tyres were cold, I got on the kerb, took too much throttle and spun. Totally my mistake.

"I'm very sorry to the team, because they deserve to do much better than that," he added. "I'm very angry with myself and very sorry for the team."

"Nikita, obviously, we all saw had a spin on the first lap which compromised his race," said team boss, Guenther Steiner. "He doesn't feel great about it, but we put it down as learning. He will get back at it again at the next race weekend, for sure he's learned from this weekend."

Mazepin's F1 debut is the briefest since Australia 2002, when rookies Felipe Massa and Alan McNish were involved in a first lap crash that saw 8 cars eliminated.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Bahrain, here.

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