“Am I afraid of him? Yes”: Ocon says he is ‘200% more attentive’ with Mazepin around

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon has confessed that he is afraid of facing Haas’ Nikita Mazepin on track.

Russian driver Mazepin has been an annoyance for many drivers on the grid this season. In light of this, Ocon confessed that he is afraid of what Mazepin could do at any moment.

The majority of F1 fans already did not like Mazepin for his questionable social media content. This early into the season, he has only sullied his reputation further with his on-track actions. He has managed to anger multiple drivers on the grid.

Esteban Ocon - F1 Driver for Alpine
Esteban Ocon confesses he is afraid when Nikita Mazepin is near him on track. Source: formula1.com

The latest Mazepin disasterclass saw him ignore blue flags at the Spanish Grand Prix. This prompted Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff to rip into Mazepin on radio and complain to the FIA.

Ocon has confessed that he has to be on his guard when Mazepin near him. He said, “Am I afraid of him? Yes, yes. When we cross paths on the track, I act 200 percent more attentively with him than with any other driver.”

Matter of learning, says Mazepin

The Haas driver has already received two penalty points in four races. The first one came at Portugal, while the second one came at Spain. He was lucky to avoid a third after tangling with the aforementioned Mercedes. If he gets ten within a year, he will be banned for one race.

Mazepin defended himself, saying he had never faced a situation where he would be lapped. He said, “I was dealing with these blue flags in Imola for the first time in my life. I previously never had a blue flag on a consistent basis.”

“So it’s a matter of learning just the same as driving. And it took me about five, seven years to learn proper driving and it’s going to take me, hopefully, a few race weekends only to learn blue flags,” he added.

So far, Mazepin has had an abysmal season. He has struggled to keep up with Mick Schumacher. Will the Russian settle into life at F1? Or are there more problems in the future for him?

Read more: “Can’t choose what you kneel for”: Mazepin at the centre of yet another controversy after taking a knee

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