Nikita Mazepin Q&A: Qatar Grand PrixNovember 17, 2021
Nikita looks ahead to this weekend's race at Losail International Circuit, a track he has previously raced at.
The inaugural Qatar Grand Prix will take place at the purpose-built Losail International Circuit – a location known for hosting battles on two wheels, rather than four. How do you think Formula 1 cars will fare around the track?
“The Qatar race is going to be an exciting one because I’ve raced there in my first-ever race in Formula MRF in 2014, so it’s a track that I enjoy, although I haven’t been there in a long time. It’s a track where a lot of sand remains. I’m looking forward to going after very different types of races.”
What is your personal checklist for tackling a new circuit? What is your priority in terms of dialing in around the track and what, if any, goals do you set for yourself?
“When you go to new circuits it’s really important to build-up and not make silly mistakes that will send you backwards two steps. Learn the track on the simulator if possible, then learn it via the onboards and do the track walk and then start building into it on the real track.”
It will be your second Formula 1 race to take place after sunset, does that provide any additional challenges or nuances to prepare for, or is it business as usual?
“I love racing at night. I think it’s a spectacular venue, Qatar itself, and then under the lights it looks really good. I’m excited to see what it’s going to look like. It’s not really different, obviously the travel and the set-up seem different because it’s so different to Brazil and the US, but the track venues are quite similar.”