OCTOBER 19, 2021
Mazepin says harsh criticism irrelevant
Nikita Mazepin says the firestorm of criticism he has received so far in his new Formula 1 career is "totally irrelevant".
The Russian rookie wasn't just dubbed 'Maze-spin' on social media, he was subjected to highly vitriolic personal attacks as a result of damning video that emerged prior to his F1 debut.
But the 22-year-old insists he has ignored it.
"Everyone has an opinion on everything," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"99 percent of the people who talk about me do it based on what they see on TV or on social media - they have never met me. So their opinion is totally irrelevant to me," said Mazepin.
"I was lucky enough to grow up in a very close family, with my father and other people who I have lived with all of these 22 years. Theirs is the only opinion that matters to me.
"I made mistakes and I keep making them as everyone else does, and when it happens to me I get a slap and I'm told not to do it anymore. So I learn and improve," he added.
"But I am still a human being so I spin, I crash, I fail. A start to Formula 1 like the one I had can bring your confidence down, and it takes some time to pick it up again.
"Absolutely it's harder than I expected, but life is hard."
He plays down his reportedly difficult relationship with Haas teammate Mick Schumacher, insisting he has played his part in attempting a peace deal with the German.
"It's positive," said Mazepin.
"I recently invited him to Moscow and he has not answered me yet, but these are misunderstandings which is normal.
"We are two young people trying to have a long career in Formula 1. But we've known each other for a long time and know how to find a way to work together."