Haas driver Nikita Mazepin has set a points-scoring target for the 2022 season, saying he is optimistic of achieving his goal.
Mazepin had a terrible rookie season riddled with below-average performances on track and controversies off it. He was routinely outperformed by his teammate and was always slower than everyone else on the grid.
In fact, he was more often than not a track hazard for the other drivers. His slow pace meant he was a pain for drivers trying to lap him, especially when he never actually nailed the blue flag rules half the time.
Nevertheless, Mazepin set a points-scoring target for 2022, saying he feels ready, willing and able to do what he couldn’t in 2021.
“I feel 100% ready,” the Russian told GPFans, as quoted by Planet F1.
“I had a few good battles last year with some faster cars and I felt comfortable.
“For me, mainly fighting with people, I need to know exactly where my rear wing ends and where the front wing ends so I know exactly how to position my car next to them.
“I feel like I have that confidence. I remember it was very scary at the first race in Bahrain because the cars are very long and wide.But now I’m in a good place, so driving a more balanced car and a more predictable car should make it easier and more enjoyable.”
“Life in F1 isn’t consistent to anyone. But we always knew what we were going into and 2022 is the year when we put things together. I think I’m in a good place to do exactly that,” he explained.
“I try to be more conservative with my thoughts, my ambitions, because you need to put in maximum effort and then make sure your expectations are not too high. Sometimes, if you set your expectations too high, you try too hard and end up with worse results.
“I think it’s never going to be easy because the other nine teams on the grid are not sleeping either.
“Everyone wants to get points and those Constructors’ positions. It’s really difficult but I’m sure we’ll be better than last year. That’s the aim,” he concluded.