Formula 1 reserve driver does Russian villain Nikita Mazepin cold in viral tweet

Formula 1 reserve driver Jack Aitken has done Russian rival Nikita Mazepin cold.

The rookie Haas driver endured a nightmare start to his Formula 1 career at this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, crashing out just three turns into the first lap.

A controversial addition to the grid after he was filmed groping a woman’s breast in the back seat of a car, the Russian made no friends by committing the ultimate faux pas in qualifying in Bahrain when he broke a “gentleman’s code” and overtook other drivers on the outlap.

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The F1 karma gods appeared to take their revenge just moments after the Haas driver began his very first race in a crash that revived memories of Aitken’s similar accident at the same corner last season.

Aitken was making his Formula 1 debut at the Sakhir Grand Prix in December, a race that used the “outer track” of the same Bahrain circuit, when he spun out on lap 60 at the same spot Mazepin came unstuck on Monday morning (AEDT).

The British-Korean racer took a cheeky shot at Mazepin on social media after the early crash in a viral tweet that had more than 32,000 likes on Monday afternoon.

Suddenly feeling a lot better about the 60 laps I managed in Sakhir before my spin.

He had reason to give some grief to Mazepin after he at least finished his race, finishing 16th.

Aitken was only given his spot on the Formula 1 grid at the end of the 2020 season because of Lewis Hamilton’s positive COVID-19 test which saw Williams young gun George Russell promoted to the Mercedes team as his temporary replacement.

Aitken, 25, has returned to his position as a development driver with Williams in 2021 and is still trying to win a full-time seat — giving him plenty of reason to be aggrieved by Mazepin’s instant promotion within the Haas team following his father, billionaire Russian oligarch Dmitry Mazepin’s, decision to sponsor the team through his fertiliser company.

Mazepin badly bent the front wheels on his car in the crash, but he escaped unhurt. The race was paused for a Safety Car intervention for two laps with the contest resuming on lap four.

The race distance had already been trimmed to 56 laps after Sergio Perez’s Red Bull car suffered a power failure on the formation lap, requiring him to recover and then start from the pit lane.

On the restart, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly lost his front wing after a clash with McLaren new boy Daniel Ricciardo while rookie Mick Schumacher spun off at Turn Four – a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed briefly.

Nikita Mazepin crashed on the opening lap in Bahrain.Source:Supplied

On ya bike, mate: Nikita Mazepin is driven back to the pits in embarrassing fashion. (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC / AFP)Source:AFP

Lewis Hamilton and pole-sitter Max Verstappen emerged from the chaos to fight out a thrilling finish, with Hamilton claiming the win after Verstappen was forced to hand over the lead in the final laps.

Mazepin’s ultimate faux pas

A day earlier, commentators were baffled by Mazepin’s decision to overtake on the outlap in qualifying, which is usually seen as an unsportsmanlike way for drivers to gain an advantage over other racers.

Unfortunately for Mazepin, his devious move didn’t go according to plan, as he spun out for the second time on the track.

“Oh dear, oh no. Mazepin has broken the gentleman’s code of basically, ‘Wait your turn and everyone gets a lap’,” said BBC commentator Jolyon Palmer.

“He’s gone past all the champions into the final corner and then he’s got down to that final corner and spun, causing them to not be able to go fast.

“Way to make yourself public enemy number one on your debut!”

In a post-race interview, Mazepin claimed not to have been aware of the unspoken rule and blamed a braking issue for his spin.

“I had an issue with brake by wire. I locked up on the rears, I’m not sure why, at Turn 1,” Mazepin explained.

The abandoned car of Nikita Mazepin. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

“I was working on trying to sort the brake-by-wire issue, because it’s an electrical issue which can be sorted by steering wheel.

“My team told me there is not enough time to cross the start/finish line if I don’t go now. So I’m obviously the team’s driver, I’m doing as instructed and the instructions were to push – I pushed.

“And to be very honest, I’ve never heard about this agreement before, however, I will take notice from now on.”

— with AFP

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