Nikita Mazepin will get to experience his first ever Formula 1 home grand prix this weekend, as the championship rolls into the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom. The Russian will be hoping for a crazy race, and if the forecast is anything to go by then a crazy race might just be what we get.
Rain is forecast from Friday all the way through the weekend, in what looks set to be an extremely wet weekend for the Uralkali Haas F1 Team. Nevertheless Mazepin is extremely excited for his first ever Formula 1 home grand prix.
“First of all, I’m massively looking forward to going there. I’ve been in Sochi a few times, I went there for the first ever Grand Prix back in 2014 if I’m not mistaken, and back in the day, the country had a very different meaning for me. I didn’t race for my country, I wasn’t even in Formula 3 at the time. Obviously to have made it six years later means a lot to me and I’m one of the fortunate drivers who has a home race and I’m looking forward to experiencing the feeling of it.”
Despite it being his first ever home grand prix in Formula 1, Mazepin believes that it’s positive pressure rather than negative.
“I think it’s positive pressure. The Sochi pressure for me is just giving me extra motivation and it gives me more endorphins and energy to power through the more difficult moments in the build-up to the race. Nevertheless, I’m going there with a clear mind to try and extract everything I can from myself and the car and I’m looking forward to seeing what the atmosphere is going to be like after what everybody has seen the Netherlands and what they showed us.”
“Last year was quite successful for me”
On the other side of the Haas garage, Mick Schumacher is also looking forward to the Russian Grand Prix. The German has positive memories of the circuit including from 2020 where he extended his Formula 2 championship lead after winning at the venue.
“Last year was quite successful for me there. We won and were extending our championship lead which was obviously very helpful going into the final few races after that. I definitely think my past experiences there have been quite good and I collected a lot of points.”