(Motorsport-Total.com) – Times are changing in Formula 1. At Haas, seasoned Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen will have to leave in 2021. You will probably have to make room for two rookies, one of whom already has a reputation for getting into Formula 1 just because of dad’s finances: Nikita Masepin.
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Just because he has a rich father doesn’t mean that Stroll is undeserved for Wolff in F1
Father Dimitri had already tried unsuccessfully in 2018 to buy the insolvent Force India team – now the next attempt could be made at Haas, in whatever form.
Should Masepin move up to Formula 1 in 2021, he would be the next youngster to benefit from a rich father. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) and Nicholas Latifi (Williams) are also often decried as drivers who only have their place because of dad’s finances and therefore do not deserve it.
Wolff: “No discussion” about Lance Stroll
However, Mercedes Motorsport Director Toto Wolff sees it differently: “Name me a driver this season who didn’t make it here on his own,” he says and finds arguments for all candidates.
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Lance Stroll, for example, is Formula 3 European Champion, has twice been on the podium in Formula 1 and was on the front row in rainy Monza. “I don’t think we can say he doesn’t belong here just because his father is a billionaire,” says Wolff. “I think he’s more likely to suffer from the stigma that’s not right. He can’t help it that his father is so successful.”
On the contrary: Wolff finds it rather impressive that Stroll, despite his environment, chooses a sport that is one of the most competitive in the world. “There’s no discussion, to be honest.”
Drivers are not allowed to judge beforehand
Nicholas Latifi has won races in Formula 2 and has not yet been able to show what he is capable of for the Mercedes boss. “But he is not one of those drivers from ten years ago who came into Formula 1 without ever having won a race in a competitive series,” he said in defense of the Canadian.
The Masepin family is vehemently pushing into the top class in 2021
And Masepin? “We shouldn’t badmouth Mick (Schumacher) or Nikita before we’ve seen them. Nikita is always at the front in Formula 2 and has won several races. The same applies to Mick,” says Wolff.
He currently sees no problem in Formula 1. “Five or six years ago we had a lot more drivers who only got into Formula 1 because they paid for it. Maybe I have a wrong memory. I don’t want to mention names , but you already know who I mean. “
Russell: Formula 1 teams need sponsorship
George Russell, who is currently in danger of being ousted by wealthy drivers, sees no problem either: “Many people’s jobs are at stake. Formula 1 teams need sponsorship in order to be able to drive,” he says and sees the planned budget limit as a good basis for a more stable future.
Should Mick Schumacher and Nikita Masepin end up at Haas, as suspected, Russell wouldn’t mind: “Both of them performed well in Formula 2 this year and deserve a place on the grid.”