Nikita Mazepin handed hefty grid penalty for final round in Abu Dhabi

Nikita Mazepin has been handed a 15-place grid penalty for the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race at the next round in Abu Dhabi following his role in the first lap crash in the Russian Sprint Race.

On the opening lap, Mazepin led the field away from pole position down towards Turn 2 with the Campos of Jack Aitken and Nobuharu Matsushita in the blue and red Carlin in hot pursuit.

After out-braking himself into Turn 2, he then forced Aitken off the circuit (pictured above), Aitken then made his way to the styrofoam bollards as dictated by race direction whilst Mazepin had failed to negotiate the bollards in the correct manner - shortcutting them instead.

Because of his manoeuvre, Mazepin then collided with Aitken as the pair rejoined the circuit which resulted in contact as Aitken hit Mazepin's rear left wheel which tore it off the Russian's car.

The ART Grand Prix driver was subsequently launched into the path of Matsushita who could not avoid Mazepin's car resulting in heavy contact with the outside TecPro barrier on the outside of Turn 3.

Matsushita took a short while to be extricated from his car while Mazepin walked away from the incident unhurt.

The Japanese driver was sent to a local hospital for checks but has been kept in hospital overnight as a precaution with a view for further scans on Monday.

The race stewards believed the Russian driver showed a total lack of due care for his fellow drivers and caused a series incident.

As a consequence of his actions, Mazepin has been handed a 15-place grid drop for the final round of the Formula 2 season at the Yas Marina circuit on November 29 - December 1.