Haas’ Nikita Mazepin has scored his debut season in Formula 1 a “four out of five”, following a challenging campaign at the back of the grid.
Mazepin joined Haas alongside fellow rookie Mick Schumacher for the 2021 season, however the American-owned team opted not to upgrade its car during the year.
This meant that it was consistently competing at the back of the field for the season, scoring zero points after 22 races.
Mazepin, who ended the season 21st and last in the Drivers’ Championship, believes he warrants a four out of five due to “sticking through it” during difficult parts of the year.
“I finished school four years ago and that’s the last time I was receiving marks and in all honesty I don’t really miss it so much,” Mazepin said.
“I never think that you should get a five because five is excellence, and I don’t know what excellence is. Today it might be excellent but tomorrow I realise I can do something more. So four is the maximum I can give myself.
“So I guess four for sticking through it because the times were really tough this year at certain points. Probably a three for adaptation, because that’s hasn’t been my strong point and I keep improving on it.”
Despite having low moments such as his maiden race lasting only two corners, Mazepin says there were positives to take away from the year.
“I used a few different cars this year, so certainly when I used the cars that I have found difficult or heavy, it was the lower moments,” Mazepin said.
“Then I also made some mistakes like in the Bahrain race and some other events when I didn’t feel like I performed well or I tried too hard and then ultimately lost my lap time like in Brazil, when I believe that we had a chance of out-qualifying Williams or going into Q2.
“That was definitely the low moments, but the high moments is many races. I had a good races in Silverstone, in Brazil and Mexico.”