Why Nikita Mazepin did not get fastest lap in F1's Belgian Grand Prix

Jake Nichol August 30, 2021
Why Nikita Mazepin did not get fastest lap in F1's Belgian Grand Prix
Photo by Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

Haas driver Nikita Mazepin was credited with the fastest lap after Formula One’s Belgian Grand Prix was abandoned. However, the rookie F1 driver has not been classified with the accolade. Here’s why:

Mazepin does not get fastest lap for Belgian GP

Shortly after the shambolic Belgian GP was finally called off, Mazepin was awarded the fastest lap.

The Russian had been clocked at 3m:18.016s as the pack crawled around behind the safety car.

Mazepin was not allocated the bonus (half) point for fastest lap as he did not finish in the top 10.

However, the ex-Formula Two driver soon lost the accolade.

When the official classification from the stewards was released confirming the results, no driver was awarded fastest lap.

It means that no driver officially achieved fastest lap for the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix.

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Why did Mazepin not get it’?

Article 51.14 of the FIA sporting regulations reads thus:

  • “If the sprint qualifying session or the race cannot be resumed the results will be taken at the end of the penultimate lap before the lap during which the signal to suspend the sprint qualifying session or the race was given.”

After the three hour delay brought about by the weather, the field was led out for just two laps before the red flags were thrown again.

As the race was not continued thereafter, the above rule means that the official classification must be taken at the end of the first lap completed behind the safety car.

Because the Belgian GP became a one lap race – the shortest in F1 history – it was decided that fastest lap should not be awarded.

F1 2021 | Accolades Trailer

F1 2021 | Accolades Trailer

There was some talk that because the ‘race’ did not last the minimum of two laps, that no points should be awarded.

However, the F1 confirmed that the result would stand and points be awarded.

As a result, Mazepin loses the first fastest lap of his F1 career, in what has been a challenging debut season.

He has recorded a best finish of 14th in Azerbaijan, and has 0 points.

Teammate Mick Schumacher has similarly struggled in the under-developed Haas.

His best finish is 12th – posted in the chaotic Hungarian GP just before the summer break.

Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

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Jake can usually be found writing about or watching anything to do with motorsport – from Formula 1 to NASCAR to British Truck Racing. His work as a motorsport journalist has been published by the likes of Autosport, Motorsport.com and Motorsport News – all highly respected names. Away from racing he is a keen amateur astronomer, podcast listener and enjoys long walks in the park with his three dogs.