Mazepin On Latifi Crash: ‘That Was Just Unfortunate For Him’

Nikita Mazepin also said he was pleased to see the chequered flag at Imola after retiring on the first lap of his F1 debut last month.

Nikita Mazepin on Imola crash -

Haas F1 rookie Nikita Mazepin has said he believes Nicholas Latifi was entirely responsible for his race-ending collision early in the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

While the circuit was still wet, Latifi locked a tyre at Acque Minerale and spun off the circuit.

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The Williams driver then re-joined the track, but was sent into the barrier after making contact with Mazepin’s Haas just seconds later.

Commenting on the incident, which the stewards put down as a racing incident, Mazepin said: “He came back from off-track, I don’t think he knew I was there.

“With these cars, if you go on the grass, if it is wet, you go to the wall so I stayed and gave him all the room I had.

“But I don’t think he was aware that I was there because you are obviously stressed when you go off and come back onto the circuit and I think that was just unfortunate for him.”

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Latifi, for his part, took responsibility for the crash and suggested he couldn’t see Mazepin behind him.

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“Massive apologies to the team today after an amazing job all weekend. Visibility was extremely poor and just couldn’t see. Car was on it all weekend and we’re heading in the right direction. Onwards to Portimao!” he wrote in a tweet.

Asked for his thoughts on his second F1 grand prix, Mazepin described his performance at Imola as much better than the previous race at Bahrain, which ended after a matter of seconds after he lost control of his Haas on the first lap.

“Definitely better than last time,” Mazepin said.

“So much happened in this race from starting on the wets and not really expecting it because the sunshine was not long before the start and the red flag.

“Loads of things happened but a good learning experience in the bag and to see the chequered flag was good,” he concluded.

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