Russian Formula 2 driver Nikita Mazepin will step up and make his Formula 1 debut with Haas next season after signing a multi-year contract with the American team.
The 21-year-old currently sits third overall in the F2 championship with one round to go, having taken two victories and four other podiums in his second campaign.
He joins Haas having tested for Force India in 2016, 2017 and 2018, as well as world champions Mercedes in 2019.
“I’m delighted that Nikita Mazepin will be driving for Haas F1 Team next season,” said Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “Nikita has underlined his credentials in Formula 2 this year with a brace of victories and a handful of podiums in what’s been a strong sophomore season for him.
“He’s developed into a mature racer moving up through the junior ranks – notably most recently in the GP3 Series, where he finished runner-up in 2018, and obviously in Formula 2 over the past two seasons.
“I’m excited to see what Nikita can achieve in Formula 1 and we look forward to giving him the opportunity to compete at the highest level of world motorsport.
“With a record-setting 23 race schedule set for the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, he’s going to get plenty of track action to learn all the nuances of Grand Prix racing.”
Mazepin started racing single seaters in 2015, competing in Formula Renault 2.0 before spending two years competing in European F3. He stepped into GP3 for 2018, finishing second overall with four wins. A step up to F2 followed, first with ART then with Hitech.
“Becoming a Formula 1 driver is a lifelong dream come true for me,” said Mazepin. “I really appreciate the trust being put in me by Gene Haas, Guenther Steiner, and the whole of the team. They’re giving a young driver an opportunity and I thank them for that.
“I’m looking forward to starting our relationship together, both on and off the track, and I’m naturally keen to continue to demonstrate my abilities after a strong Formula 2 season.
“The team will be looking to me for feedback and inputs in order to refine its package for 2021 and beyond. I will take that responsibility on and can’t wait to get started.”
Mazepin will become the fourth Russian to race in F1, after Vitaly Petrov, Sergey Sirotkin and Daniil Kvyat.
Haas have yet to announce who will partner him at the team next season.