Masi not particularly concerned at Mazepin

30/09/2021
NEWS STORY

Despite his numerous misdemeanours thus far, including being flagged for "unsportsmanlike conduct" at Sochi on Sunday, FIA race director, Michael Masi is not particularly concerned by Nikita Mazepin’s approach to his racing.

Following a particularly bad start on Sunday, Yuki Tsunoda had dropped from 12th on the grid to last. Though he made quick work of Mick Schumacher, the AlphaTauri driver subsequently found himself stuck behind Antonio Giovinazzi and then Nicholas Latifi.

Among the first to stop, Tsunoda rejoined the race in last again behind Latifi, however, while the Canadian was able to pass Nikita Mazepin for 18th, when Tsunoda made his move on the Haas driver, the Russian made one of his 'usual' late defensive moves across the track to block the Japanese.

Mazepin was subsequently shown the black and white flag for "unsportsmanlike conduct".

The move came two weeks after Monza where Mazepin was penalised for causing a collision with his teammate, the Russian earning a 5s time penalty and a point on his licence.

Repeatedly the cause of rivals' frustration Mazepin has earned penalties for ignoring blue flags in Spain, yellow flags in Austria and impeding Lando Norris in Spain. This on top of his numerous encounters with his hapless teammate.

While the FIA takes the latest incident seriously, unlike Mazepin's critics on social media - and in the paddock - race director, Michael Masi doesn't believe the Russian's 'approach' to his race craft is of particular concern.

"It was going through Turn 12," said Masi, according to The Race. "It was just the move that he came across so late on Yuki who was overtaking with DRS.

"It's one of those things that we've said a few times and we've issued black and whites for before," he added, "it's unsportsmanlike conduct, and not something we're going to tolerate.

"He's probably had a few stewards' visits," the Australian admitted, "but I think if you went through and had a look at it all there are probably other drivers that are up there, or have had more.

"I wouldn't suggest there is anything untoward or a concern," he added. "We look at and investigate each incident on its own merits. If it is worth investigating obviously the stewards will investigate it, and they have a look at it based on the evidence that is before them, and then deem if a penalty is or isn't necessary.

"We judge incidents based on what occurs. Someone's particularly driving style? I would suggest we have got 20 different driving styles, subtly, out there."

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Published: 30/09/2021
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