“Russians are treated differently doesn’t surprise me”- Nikita Mazepin tries to spot the reason why he is the most hated driver in the paddock.
Nikita Mazepin has caught all headlines even before his Formula 1 debut but for all the wrong reasons. And it wouldn’t be wrong to say that after all of his controversies, he’s the most disliked driver in the paddock, though he is yet to make his debut in Formula 1.
Mazepin, in response, credits his nationality the reason behind the hate he has been receiving since the past few weeks and claims that even for a Russian, he is being hated more.
“There are certain reasons, which have nothing to do with the racing world, why I am treated differently. I’m used to criticism, and I don’t have any problem with that,” said Mazepin on a Russian TV called MatchTV.
He further backs his point by saying all the Russians in F1 before have been a subject to similar hate. “They were all top racers, professionals through and through, but some things that were said about them were not deserved.”
“But that’s life. That the Russians are treated differently doesn’t surprise me. I think there’s hardly a Russian driver who gets so much fuss and hate. Am I prepared for it? It is part of life. If you want to race, you have to face something like that.” he concluded.
Who’s going to tell him?
Considering the recent reports, either Mazepin is definitely projecting ignorance or creating a victimhood narrative of himself in front of his domestic media.
Moreover, it is also not about an isolated incident; rather, several instances have led to the formation of a negative public image. He is maybe right that a Russian driver might see a hostile reaction from a sport dominated by Western Europe, owing to cultural and political differences.
But never before a collective voice by millions of followers, irrespective of nationalities had asked for a driver’s sacking, even before they made a debut in the sport, and Mazepin needs to reflect on that instead of remaining in denial.