It is no secret that Haas driver Nikita Mazepin came into his rookie season in Formula 1 as one of the most disliked drivers on the grid thanks to a reputation of being a "pay driver" and being subjected to a sexual harassment scandal just weeks before the opening race.

However, in a recent interview with, the young Russian gave a glimpse of his personality and showed that just as fellow driver Pierre Gasly said, he is also just another regular human being with real emotions and vulnerabilities under his helmet.

Following the Styrian Grand Prix wherein Mazepin dealt with being lapped many times over, he said: "I was thinking when I was driving in the car that if there's one thing I can ask for Christmas it's just to finish on the same lap as others."

He went on to elaborate on exactly what it felt like being in arguably the slowest car on the grid by a large margin. "It was very lonely, I felt like a carrot that was about to be caught by a rabbit! And unfortunately I was caught, and then eventually I was also caught by the lapped cars and ***** hell when you get through to being lapped you lose your tyre temperatures, you go onto the dirt and it really is very painful," he shared.

Incidentally, the other drivers have not enjoyed lapping him either, with many having expressed their frustration at the Russian for failing to move out of the way cleanly in the face of blue flags. Haas has been off the pace all season, and Mazepin has had the unfortunate fate of staring down blue flags on every Grand Prix so far. In Austria, that happens very quickly because the track is very short. Hence even other lapped cars were able to lap him twice over. Sadly, the same could be expected this weekend as the competition returns to the Red Bull ring.

"Once you get caught by that train of cars it's just a never-ending spiral which is very painful for a driver, so just one of those days," he said.

On the upside, Mazepin has avoided collisions and spins for the most part, despite many expecting him to go off the track all the time after several spins in his first few outings in the Haas. He has earned the nickname "Mazespin," which he and team principal Guenther Steiner had a laugh about after the latter gifted him with a personalised spinning top last week.

Mazepin and Schumacher
Haas have a rookie pairing in 2021 with Mick Schumacher (left) teaming up with Nikita Mazepin (right) AFP / Mazen MAHDI