Mazepin opens up on ‘depression’ as he sends message to Ricciardo and Schumacher

While Sebastian Vettel has called time on his Formula 1 career, it is yet to be known whether Daniel Ricciardo will ever return to the grid.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is usually emotional, with some drivers retiring, some departing for different teams, and others losing their place in Formula 1.

This year was no different as we saw fan favourites depart the sport in the form of Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi.

While Vettel has bid an emotional farewell to Formula 1 to spend more time with his family, Ricciardo, Schumacher and Latifi have been replaced at McLaren, Haas and Williams respectively and have both expressed a desire to return to the grid as soon as possible.

The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw the sport say goodbye to Russian Nikita Mazepin, however it was unknown at the time as the former Haas driver was replaced during the winter break as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

READ: ‘Sadness in his eyes’: Ex-F1 driver feels ‘sorry’ for Max Verstappen

The Russian has now taken to Instagram to offer some bizarre advice to this year’s departing drivers, opening up on his experiences since leaving F1.

“At this weekend’s F1 race in Abu Dhabi. Nice to be here as a guest and see old friends,” posted the 23-year-old.

“Got me thinking about some words of wisdom I can share with Seb, Daniel, Nicky and Mick as they get ready to move on. So here’s what awaits you in the five stages of departing the stable.

“Stage 1: Denial. You will find yourself driving circles around your apartment building. Don’t make the mistake I made – turn on your stopwatch. It’s entirely possible that another F1 team will be interested in your results and you won’t have to endure the next four stages.

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“Stage 2: Anger. You blame everyone but yourself for having to leave F1. Particularly the ‘Drive to Survive’ film crew. You watch the races obsessively and yell at the screen.

“Stage 3: Bargaining. You hold a press conference where you put on a brave face and thank the team principal who fired you in hopes that your cheerful smile and natural charm will get you a seat with a new team.

“Stage 4: Depression. Drink, party on a yacht, sleep it off, and gain five kilos. Repeat on an endless loop. This will not be an easy stage to get through, but your friends will enjoy it.

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“Stage 5: Acceptance. Congratulations. You’ve reached the final Grand Prix of being shown the exit. You stop obsessing about F1 and start thinking about your next steps… while keeping yourself in shape and keeping the door open for a return!”

The former Haas driver continues on to personally address each departing driver in what is a strange and unexpected Instagram post, but reading between the lines it does seem that Mazepin’s post is an unorthodox way of opening up about his year since F1, without becoming too personal.

It is yet unknown that the future lies for Mazepin, with his performances in F1 unlikely to secure him another race seat, regardless of the controversy regarding his nation.