Nikita Mazepin has riled up a controversy after he was slammed by two Brazilian commentators for being rude to a journalist.
In a post qualifying interview, the journalist asked Mazepin about his incident with Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi. This involved the Russian overtaking the Italian driver towards the end of Q1 just before the braking zone at Tamburello.
“What happened between you and Antonio [Giovinazzi] at the track?” Brazilian journalist Mariana Becker asked, to which Mazepin flatly replied: “I guess I overtook him”.
“Okay, good, thank you,” she added, before Mazepin walked away.
This response prompted two Brazilian commentators to criticize the Haas rookie for being rude.
“This shows who he really is. This shows that a driver who pays his way in, has no boss, no one to call him out and unfortunately people like this have difficulties to learn and evolve,” the lead commentator said.
“He’s going to last [in Formula One] as long as his father wants to put money in,” the co-commentator added.
“If F1 allows this, the bare minimum is that the driver has respect.”
Giovinazzi also felt that the Russian did not have respect for the on-track incident and will have a conversation with him regarding this.
“Drivers respect each other on the race track, but we definitely didn’t see that today,” the Alfa Romeo driver said on Saturday.
“Mazepin destroyed my lap. This is not the kind of behaviour I expect from another driver and so I will have to speak to him,” he added.
Mazepin however did not think he was at fault.
“When there are only a few seconds left to cross the line for another lap, you either step on the gas or drive into the pits. I don’t see where the problem is here,” the Russian racing driver said.
“I’m here to do some quick laps. And we all live in the same world.”
Do you think Mazepin is to blame for the incident? Let us know in the comments below!