Nikita Mazepin has sensationally hit out at Mick Schumacher despite the pair being new team-mates for Formula One team Haas.
Both drivers were signed as Haas’ drivers for the 2021 Formula One season with the pair knowing each other from their go-karting days.
When asked about his relationship with Russian driver Mazepin, Schumacher claimed their pair have a good relationship but they have been distant for while.
Nikita Mazepin (left) claims him and new Haas team-mate Mick Schumacher are ‘not friends’
Mazepin knows Schumacher from go-karting together and will represent Haas in 2021
The German said recently: ‘He was very nice and there was a healthy respect between us as teammates.
‘Then we lost touch with each other a bit and of course we have both changed since then.’
But Mazepin has hinted at a colder friendship with Schumacher, who is the son of Formula One legend Michael, telling Russian channel Match TV this week: ‘We are not friends. At most we are old acquaintances as we raced together in karts.’
‘I honestly don’t care about his name. Because of the name he will have more power, but also more pressure.
Schumacher claimed that there was a healthy – but distant – friendship between the two
‘But when I lower the visor, I don’t think about these things anyway.’
Mazepin was caught up in a social media scandal towards the end of 2020 after he posted a video of him groping the breast of model Andrea D’Ival on Instagram
The model claimed the video was a ‘joke’ but the social media hashtag #WeSayNoToMazepin started trending online.
Haas confirmed in December that Mazepin will remain part of their team following the scandal, with the Russian posting his own apology for the incident.
Mazepin was recently involved in a social media scandal after he was filmed groping a model
Schumacher, meanwhile, is set to make his Formula One debut later this year after impressing in the Formula 2 category.
The German made his F1 practice debut in last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where he represented Haas.
The 2021 season begins in March at the Australian Grand Prix, with seven-time winner Lewis Hamilton the reigning world Formula One champion.
Despite the scandal, Mazepin will still drive for Haas in 2021 – starting at March’s Australian GP