Nikita Mazepin gave his first Formula One season a four out of five for persevering through the adversity of some “very challenging” situations.
Haas spent two developmental token points on the new regulation 2022 car rather than the 2021 season car, making it the slowest car on the grid, piloted by Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, who finished last in the constructor’s championship.
While the Russian driver says that he is happy with how he persevered through a challenging year, he believes that he might have done a better job adapting to the sport’s demands.
“I finished school four years ago and that’s the last time I was receiving marks and I don’t really miss it so much,” Mazepin said.
“I never think that you should get a five because five is excellence [as in Russian school marks are from 2 to 5], and I don’t know what excellence is. Today it might be excellent, but tomorrow I realize I can do something more.
Nikita Mazepin on a rookie season and scope of improvement in 2022
“So four is the maximum I can give myself. So I guess four for sticking through it because the times were callous this year at specific points.
“Probably a three for adaptation, because that’s hasn’t been my strong point and I keep improving on it.”
Mazepin’s rookie season featured several mistakes throughout the year, including a crash at the start of the Bahrain GP that he admits was one of the lowest points of the campaign.
Also Read: Top 5 crashes of the 2021 F1 season ranked
“I used a few different cars this year, so certainly when I used the cars that I have found difficult or heavy, it was the lower moments,” he said, referring to having had to use a heavier chassis in several races this year.
“Then I also made some mistakes like in the Bahrain race and some other events when I didn’t feel like I performed well or I tried too hard and then ultimately lost my lap time like in Brazil when I believe that we had a chance out-qualifying Williams or going into Q2.
“That was definitely the low moments, but the high moments is a… many races. I had a good race in Silverstone, in Brazil and Mexico.”