Mazepin didn’t want the FP3 incident to impact Hamilton’s F1 title bid – .

Mazepin didn’t want the FP3 incident to impact Hamilton’s F1 title bid – .

Mazepin was forced to take high-speed avoidance action during the final testing of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after looping around Hamilton, who was on a slow lap, in the blind 8 left turn.
Commissioners investigated the incident and issued a reprimand on Hamilton, as well as a fine of € 25,000 on Mercedes. Mercedes did not appear to warn Hamilton that Mazepin was shutting down at any time after giving a 10 second warning.

Hamilton explained after qualifying in Jeddah that he had “no idea” where Mazepin was and that the blind turns made it difficult to manage traffic around the track.

“Yesterday at the drivers briefing I said I think there is potential for this so we should probably keep minimum speed everywhere like they did for [Turns] 22-27 I think it was, but they only did it for 22-27, ”Hamilton said.

“I apologized to Nikita. “

Mazepin brushed off the incident, saying it was “not a big deal on my part”, and revealed Hamilton had texted him apologizing.

“He felt really sorry for what happened, and he said it wasn’t the best job they had done,” Mazepin said.

“It’s really nice to see the experienced and older generation really paying attention to these things. In F2 you might never think about it, while in F1 sits the seven-time world champion. So that’s really kind of him.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo By: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Any penalty beyond a reprimand could have impacted Hamilton’s title battle with Red Bull rival Max Verstappen, who is eight points clear at the top of the standings with two races to go.

Mazepin also played down the need for a bigger penalty, saying he wouldn’t have wanted the incident to have impacted Hamilton’s title chances.

“I really love Lewis, and I really wish him all the best in his title fight,” Mazepin said.

“I wouldn’t want him penalized for something that was with me.

“This is my first year in Formula 1. He was probably concentrating on his steering wheel settings and figuring out how to find some lap time for qualifying.

“If the cost was for me not to complete one of my laps in FP3, so be it. “

Additional reporting by Alex Kalinauckas

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