F2 title contender Nikita Mazepin will make his F1 debut in 2021 having signed a multi-year contract with the Haas Formula 1 team.
The 21-year-old Russian will take a seat at Haas following the announcement that current drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen will not be racing for the team in 2021, leaving just one free seat at the team next year.
“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 was runner-up in GP3 in 2018 with ART Grand Prix before stepping up to F2 with the same team for 2019. After an unsuccessful rookie year he moved to the Hitech Grand Prix F2 team and currently sits in third place in the drivers' championship, having won two feature races and collected six podiums, still in with a shout of the title.
Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner said: “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.
“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.”
While no announcement has been made about Grosjean's plans for 2021, Magnussen recently announced a switch to sportscar racing, joining Cadillac's efforts in the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship.