F1 capitalising on 'bad-boy' Mazepin image with radio messages - Steiner

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Formula 1 is broadcasting negative radio messages towards Nikita Mazepin to capitalise on his "bad boy" image, according to Haas chief Guenther Steiner.

While the Russian driver was able to face the right direction throughout the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend, he was called a "f**king idiot" twice by Nicholas Latifi and Sergio Perez after impeding the two drivers in qualifying and the race.

And while Mazepin certainly isn't doing much to improve his perception among the fans, finishing over a minute behind the rest of the field at Portimao, Steiner believes F1 use him to create interaction.

“What is said in race circumstances, when you go 300kmph, you are not going to say ‘this guy was not very nice’, you will call him something else. Who wouldn’t?" the Haas chief commented.

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“We all know Nikita was made the ‘bad boy’ a while back so for sure F1 always broadcast the comments about him because [people] like to listen to it.

“If they broadcast nice and sweet things said about other people then nobody would care so I think it is a little bit attention-grabbing from their side, but we are part of the racing show business so it is part of it.

“I don’t think it affects him. I wouldn’t like what people say about me but if it affects you, you shouldn’t be doing this job, do something different if you are a bit scared.”

Steiner also defended Mazepin in the incident with Perez, when he clearly blocked the Mexican at Turn 3 as the Red Bull tried to lap him.

“I think his blue flag light came on very late,” he said via GPFans. “[Perez] was already past when the light came on.

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“We also need to improve our communication when we are coming out of the pits and someone is coming. It was not intentional and nothing bad happened in the end but it never looks good.

“The five seconds today didn’t make a big difference in the end. He spoke to Checo, he apologised to him and it was a genuine mistake.

“These things happen and the good thing is no one was damaged. Yes, Nikita had the added five seconds but it didn’t change anything.”