Haas F1 driver Nikita Mazepin attempted to explain the comments he made following his near miss with Lewis Hamilton during day 3 of pre-season testing in Bahrain.
Mazepin almost crashed into Hamilton late in the day. After managing to avoid the collision, Mazepin was heard saying on the team radio, “Hahahaha. I almost crashed into Lewis”.
A disappointing day for Mercedes may have already got Hamilton frustrated. Mazepin’s history and the fact that Hamilton had already gone into gravel once before meant that the British driver did not see the lighter side.
Wow, had a close moment around Lewis on my race run. Tyres were almost finished and I am glad we didn’t touch. It was an anxious sound of relief. #NM9— Nikita Mazepin (@nikita_mazepin) March 14, 2021
Mazepin had made this comment when Hamilton was on his out lap and entering the main straight. Mazepin almost collided with Hamilton at this point.
However, Mazepin was quick to clarify just what he meant with regard to his communication on the radio.
“It’s a known topic that Formula 1 cars have a lot of downforce and do lose a lot of downforce following other cars.
“With such limited running and obviously a lot of cars being most likely in front of me at the start of the race in Bahrain, I wanted to experience the amount of downforce that I will lose.
“I did get to experience that. I almost crashed, to be honest, because the wind snap was huge. It was a bit of a worrying moment, but good to try.”
Mazepin incurred no major accident across the three days of pre-season testing in Bahrain and will look to draw confidence from that.