Haas F1 rookie Nikita Mazepin has said that he believes Mick Schumacher’s ties to Ferrari give the German certain advantages over him, as they both navigate their debut season in Formula 1.
Schumacher was a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) during his junior racing career, and he continues to be affiliated with the Scuderia.
This affords him certain privileges, such as additional testing days with Ferrari – such as the Fiorano test he took part in last week – and access to the Scuderia’s state-of-the-art F1 simulator.
Mazepin has said these privileges give Schumacher the advantage over him.
“We don’t have a simulator in our team, so we have to use simulators that most professional drivers have at home,” Mazepin said.
“As I am not a member of that youth team [the FDA] I don’t have such a privilege. I’ll prepare for Portimao here in Moscow.”
It should be noted that the young Russian’s career is bankrolled by his billionaire father, Dmitry Mazepin, and this affords him many privileges that other drivers don’t get.
For instance, due to his strong financial banking, Mazepin has been able to take part in an elaborate testing programme with the Mercedes F1 Team.
In December, following the Haas F1 Team announcing Schumacher as a driver for 2021, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said the young German could race with them as early as 2023.
“The Ferrari Driver Academy was not created to raise Formula 1 drivers, but the next driver for Ferrari,” Binotto said.
“Today it is too early to decide but there are the premises to see Mick in red in 2023.”