Nikita Mazepin and Daniil Kvyat

Mazepin Vs. Kvyat: The Most Popular Russian F1 Drivers

Nikita Mazepin and Daniil Kvyat both are Russian drivers who raced in Formula 1. However, both maintained very different role models and approaches to racing. In F1 racing, there were no Russian drivers who could compete with the fastest or even win any race. We picked Nikita Mazepin and Daniil Kvyat to compare, as both made an impression on Formula 1, but in quite different ways. Let’s figure out the best Russian F1 driver.

However, during the whole Formula 1 history, there were only six drivers from Russia who had been involved in the world championship. Among them are Daniil Kvyat and Nikita Mazepin. While no Russian F1 driver ever won the race, Kvyat achieved the maximum result.

In 2015, he finished second for Red Bull. He also has the best results in Formula 1 as a Russian driver. Kvyat finished third twice: at Chinese GP 2015 for Red Bull and Germany GP 2019 for Toro Rosso (Alpha Tauri). However, even if the answer to who is better between Mazepin and Kvyat seems obvious, do not hesitate to draw conclusions.

Nikita Mazepin's Haas russian F1 driver
Nikita Mazepin’s Haas F1 in Russian colors

All Russian F1 drivers in Formula 1

For nearly three decades, Russian drivers have been racing in Formula 1 – and some of them have proven to be competitive in the sport. From Vitaly Petrov – who took podium for Lotus Renault in 2011 – to Nikita Mazepin’s Instagram story, here are six Russian F1 drivers.

Sergey Zlobin started the campaign.

Today Zlobin is over 50 years old, however he was the pioneer and the first ever Russian driver, who was involved in Formula 1. He spent two seasons with Minardi as a test driver: 2002 and 2004.

Also, Sergey Zlobin competed twice in the Le Mans 24h Endurance Race and won the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Drivers in 2014.

Regardless, Zlobin has played a key role in increasing interest and popularity in his homeland since he tried Formula 1 racing.

Vitaly Petrov – the first ever Russian F1 driver.

He was the first Russian Formula 1 driver to compete for Renault in 2010 and Lotus in 2011-2012. A third place finish at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix was his best result.

Vitaly Petrov found amazing popularity in his homeland and brought sponsorship interest increasing as a result there was held the first ever Russian Grand Prix in Sochi in 2014.

With his popularity waned, he switched to DTM but wasn’t successful. He finished the 2014 DTM season 23rd without any points before moving to the WEC for SMP racing.

Mikhail Aleshin and Roman Rusinov

Aleshin also spent time in F1 racing for Renault in 2010 as a test driver, while Roman Rusinov spent two 2005-2006 seasons as a test driver for Midland.

After retiring from Formula 1, Aleshin switched to IMSA and managed to finish fourth in the 24 Hours of Daytona. During the 2014 Grand Prix of Houston and the 2016 Pocono race, he finished second for Arrow McLaren.

While Roman Rusinov focused on WEC for G-Drive Racing. He has won four international endurance championships. Rusinov is still the first Russian driver to win an international race in Europe.

Sergey Sirotkin’s unsuccessful story.

He spent the 2014, 2016 – 2019 seasons on the bench before fully turning his attention to WEC racing. Sergey Sirotkin raced for Renault and Sauber as a test driver. He finally took a seat in Williams for the 2018 F1 season, while the Italian Grand Prix became his most successful result. After finishing tenth, Romain Grosjean was disqualified and the Russian F1 driver took the tenth position. As a result, Sirotkin scored his only point in Formula 1. Being a reserve driver for Renault and McLaren for the 2019 season, he withdrew from Formula 1.

Daniil Kvyat russian F1 driver Toro Rosso F1 team

Daniil Kvyat and Nikita Mazepin

They are both the most popular F1 drivers in their homeland. Kvyat started his career in Formula 1 with the support of the Red Bull junior team. He raced in GP3 with Carlos Sainz Jr. for MW Arden in 2013.

At that time, Daniil Kvyat scored regularly in the background of his teammate. The Red Bull F1 team no longer hesitated when Mark Webber announced that he would leave the team after 2013. For the 2014 season, Daniel Ricciardo replaced Webber, and Kvyat took Ricciardo’s seat for Scuderia Toro Rosso.

For the 2021 Formula 1 season, Nikita Mazepin started his career alongside Mick Schumacher as a main Haas F1 driver. At the time, his father, Dmitry Mazepin, sponsored the team.

Mazepin’s career started as loud as it ended very quickly, as Haas F1 dissolved the contract with the Russian F1 driver ahead of 2022 season.

After the military conflict, almost all of these Russian F1 drivers lost their seats.

 Daniil Kvyat russian F1 driver torpedo Helmet
Daniil Kvyat Torpedo Helmet

Best Russian F1 driver Daniil Kvyat

A year after racing for Toro Rosso, Kvyat joined Red Bull in 2015, and that was perhaps his best season yet. He managed to finish second in Hungary and scored 95 points, ending the season in 7th place. That is the best ever result among all Russian F1 drivers. He had been racing for Scuderia Toro Rosso (Alpha Tauri) until 2020, but he found thousands of fans worldwide.

Despite his modest appearance, the Russian F1 driver has been involved in sensational incidents. Hence, In 2016 a new nick was given to Daniil Kvyat by Sebastian Vettel after he made the mistake during the Chinese Grand Prix: “torpedo”. After finding a gap on the internal track, the Red Bull driver overtook Vettel, who crashed into Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Despite pole position, the German was quite aggressive.

Since 2016, Daniil Kvyat has been in a relationship with Kelly Piquet, the daughter of legendary driver Nelson Piquet. Piquet gave birth to Penelope. They broke up after four years and that was a massive sensation.

After two years of no news in 2022, despite the expectations, Daniil Kvyat had kept the passion for racing and started the new chapter in his life and racing. He switched to NASCAR. Daniil Kvyat’s highest finish in Nascar was 15th in the Xfinity Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Since 2023, Kvyat joined Prema Racing for racing in the World Endurance Championship. However, Daniil Kvyat is still the best Russian F1 driver.

Nikita Mazepin father

Russian F1 driver Nikita Mazepin

We chose Nikita Mazepin and Daniil Kvyat because Mazepin is quite the opposite of Kvyat in terms of personality. He did not need to spend any time on the junior team, as his father was a sponsor.

In some ways, we could compare Lance Stroll to Mazepin. Stroll was not involved in any scandalous incidents. Furthermore, Lawrence Stroll’s son is always modest in public, which has nothing to do with the image of a Russian F1 driver.

While Mazepin had kept the glory of a very aggressive driver at the track since his racing in Formula 2 and F3 2019 -2020. Among 24 races, his best result was a fifth place in the driver’s standings in the 2020 Formula 2 championship with six podium finishes and two victories.

In spite of having announced that a Russian F1 driver will join Haas, Mazepin posted a video with vulgar behavior on his Instagram account on the eve of the 2021 season.

Although young and confident that everything could get away with this, the F1 community demanded that he retire from the sport.

However, all the money was paid. As Haas team principal revealed details on in one of Netflix’s Drive to Survive series, there was no other option in that situation.

Although Nikita Mazepin wasn’t as successful at the racing circuits as his bad reputation off the track.

The Russian driver failed to drive his Haas car well. Thus, he failed to make the third turn as he lost control of the curb on his first race in Bahrain. His following participation was controversial in Formula 1, causing a stir. Mazepin was fined 5 seconds for ignoring blue flags and blocking Sergio Perez on Portuguese GP. Due to heavy rain, at the Belgian Grand Prix he lasted two laps behind the safety car. The Russian F1 driver set the fastest lap, but the result was cancelled.

Haas F1 drivers, Dutch GP
Haas F1 drivers, Dutch GP 2021

Summing up

Also, Mazepin’s rivalry with Mick Schumacher added headache to Gunter Steiner. Thus, the Russian F1 driver offered extremely robust resistance to Schumacher and forced his teammate to the wall several times at Zandvoort. These actions left Schumacher confused. These actions left Schumacher confused.

In 2022, Mazepin switched to the Asian Le Mans Series for LMP2. Even so, there is still a lot of speed in Formula 1. Nikita Mazepin and Daniil Kvyat are both Russian F1 drivers, one of whom is the most successful, while the other keeps an unsavory reputation in his home country.

Although both have many fans.

However, as you can see, sometimes money can guarantee you to race in Formula 1. However, it has never guaranteed you to become a good F1 driver like Sergio Perez or even like Nico Hülkenberg. This describes not only racing experiences, but also the dedicated work and ability to keep the right role models as well as good relations inside and outside the team.

Today, there’s Robert Schwartzman, on whom fans have high hopes. Schwartzman has been a test driver for Scuderia Ferrari since 2022.