Nikita Mazepin is delighted with how he has handled difficulties in his first year as a Formula 1 driver.

Mazepin made his Formula 1 debut in 2021 with Haas. The rookie season turned out to be a big challenge for several reasons. The VF-21 was the slowest car on the grid, so he was able to compete only with his teammate Mick Schumacher. However, Mazepin was regularly slower than Schumacher and had issues with his chassis. He also made numerous mistakes on a race track and was heavily criticized in the paddock.

The Haas driver reflected on his first year in F1 and admitted that he was glad with how he had dealt with all the challenges.

“I finished school four years ago and that’s the last time I was receiving marks and I don’t really miss it so much,” he said.

“I never think that you should get a five because five is excellence, and I don’t know what excellence is. Today it might be excellent but tomorrow I realize I can do something more.

“So four is the maximum I can give myself. So I guess four for sticking through it because the times were really tough this year at certain points.”

At the same time, Mazepin was not that happy with how he was adapting to the sport.

“Probably a three for adaptation, because that’s hasn’t been my strong point and I keep improving on it,” he added.

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