By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Nikita Mazepin will make his Formula 1 debut in the upcoming test at Silverstone with Sahara Force India.
The 17-year-old Russian currently competes in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship with Hi-Tech Racing and will get some time in the VJM09 in both days of series testing.
The opportunity wasn’t lost on Mazepin, who has already put time in the simulator at the team’s headquarters.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to test the VJM09 at Silverstone,” Mazepin said. “There’s no doubt it will be the biggest moment of my career and it’s something I’ve been working towards my whole life. It’s been a few months since I joined the team and I feel ready for this opportunity.
“I know it’s an important test for the team and they will be counting on me to do a good job, so I will work hard to make sure we achieve our objectives.”
Sahara Force India team principal Vijay Mallya attributed Mazepin’s quick development and skillset as reasons to progress the Russian forward.
“In just a few months since his announcement as a development driver, Nikita has shown a great level of technical understanding to go with his driving skills,” Mallya said.
“His progress in our simulator has been excellent and to be in the car during this test is the next step in his natural progression within the team. We are looking forward to working with him in Silverstone.”