"Wholly at fault" Mazepin given severe penalty for Sochi F2 crash

The FIA has judged Nikita Mazepin "wholly at fault" for the Sochi Formula 2 crash that hospitalised himself and Nobuharu Matsushita, and awarded Mazepin large penalties for the next race

"Wholly at fault" Mazepin given severe penalty for Sochi F2 crash

Mazepin went into the run off at Turn 2 on the opening lap of Sunday's F2 race, but failed to round the marker boards as required before rejoining the circuit.

Renault Formula 1 junior Jack Aitken also went off but did pass the boards correctly, and when he emerged to rejoin the track he was unable to avoid Mazepin and clipped the right rear off his car, launching Mazepin into Matsushita.

Both hit the barriers on the exit of the corner, with Mazepin able to walk away while Matsushita was extracted.

Matsushita and Mazepin were airlifted to Sochi Hospital. Matsushita will remain in hospital overnight and undergo a "precautionary scan" tomorrow while Mazepin was released.

ART Grand Prix driver Mazepin will serve a 15-place grid-drop at the next race in Abu Dhabi, and has had four penalty points added to his licence.

In a document issued by the FIA, the stewards said because "the driver of car #3 [Mazepin] caused this incident by a total lack of due care for his fellow drivers and caused a bad incident that could have been much worse, the unusually large number of grid positions in the penalty and the large number of penalty points are assessed".

Explaining how they judged the incident, the stewards said: "The stewards examined video evidence.

"They summoned and heard the driver of car #15 (Jack Aitken) and team representatives (FIA documents 39 & 40).

"The driver of car #3 was unable to attend as he was at hospital following his incident, and not scheduled to be released until the following day.

"Having considered the matter extensively, the Stewards determined that car #3 arrived at the entrance of Turn 2 at an excessively high rate of speed and unable to negotiate the corner on the track.

"Car #3 then forced car #15 off the track.

"After both cars left the track, car #15 successfully negotiated the Styrofoam blocks in the runoff area, as directed by the race director's notes.

"Car #3 did not follow that same directed path, thereby shortcutting the runoff area, resulting in a collision with first car #15 and then car #2 [Matsushita], resulting in car #2's retirement and causing a red flag in the race.

"Car #3 is judged wholly at fault for the incident."

Autosport has contacted Mazepin's management for comment following the penalty.

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Series FIA F2
Author Jack Benyon
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