Guenther Steiner says there are no concerns about Nikita Mazepin’s place on the grid next season despite the fact that the Russian does not currently hold a Superlicence to race in Formula 1.
Mazepin was announced by the Haas F1 Team as one of its drivers for the 2021 season earlier this week, with the Russian being joined by Mick Schumacher in an all-new line-up for next year in place of current drivers, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
However, Mazepin needs at least seventh place in the Drivers’ standings in the FIA Formula 2 championship to qualify for the Superlicence, and mathematically, he is not yet secured of that place. However, Guanyu Zhou, who currently sits eighth in the standings, would need an almost perfect weekend to get ahead of Mazepin, while other drivers in between the Russian in third and the Chinese driver would also need to score big points in both races.
Steiner, the Team Principal of Haas, says announcing Mazepin was worth the risk, and he believes that come the end of the weekend in Bahrain, he would have done enough to earn himself a place on the Formula 1 grid for 2021.
“Obviously we spoke with FIA when we started the conversations about it, how this would work,” said Steiner to Motorsport.com. “I don’t think we have got this problem anymore.
“There is still a mathematical possibility that he doesn’t get one, but it is slim, you know. I think I’ll take that risk. I’ve taken bigger risks than that one.
“So in the end I think we get one, but we played around a few scenarios, what could be done, what should be done, but I think it’s difficult. The best is always to get it by the points.
“Again, I cannot say it will happen. But I am a big believer that he will get the points he needs to get the Superlicence. So I’m not going to go into what did the FIA say because we never came to a conclusion, because it’s always lets try to do it on points.
“And that’s what we’re doing. He did it himself. Again, that shows he didn’t get nervous or anything about it. He went out there last weekend and was told he needed to get points so you secure your own super licence, without asking any help.”