Who is Nikita Mazepin and why did he get the 2021 Haas drive?

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Russian driver Nikita Mazepin will make his Formula One debut next season with Haas.

He is likely to make up an all-rookie lineup with Mick Schumacher, who ESPN understands will be announced as his teammate later this week.

Mazepin has been on the F1 radar for a few years, although he's primarily known for two things -- having lots of money and once leaving a rival with a black eye and swollen jaw.

Here's everything you need to know about one of Haas' new arrivals.

Is he a pay driver?

The straightforward and honest answer to this is yes, because Mazepin has been picked on the financial package he can offer. Kevin Magnussen remained popular with the team and is talented enough to stay in F1, but his struggles to secure significant sponsorship in his native Denmark ultimately opened the door for Mazepin.

Mazepin brings real financial clout to Haas. Father Dimitry is worth over $7 billion and founded chemical production company Uralchem in 2007. Mazepin also races with Uralkali sponsorship, a Russian fertilizer producer and exporter that his father became a key shareholder of in 2017.

Dimitry Mazepin had been in talks to take control of Force India before it fell into administration in 2018. Force India was eventually sold to Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll and renamed Racing Point.

What's he done in his junior career?

Mazepin has shown flashes of promise. He finished second behind Anthoine Hubert in the GP3 championship (now Formula 3) in 2018. He was 18th in his rookie Formula 2 season but has claimed two race victories this year -- he goes into the finale in third position.

However, the most notorious incident in Mazepin's racing career occurred a few years ago.

During the 2016 season Mazepin punched Callum Illot (now a Ferrari junior and Schumacher's main F2 title rival) in the face. Illot was left with a black eye and swollen jaw. Mazepin was given a single race ban but the incident raised questions about his character.

Is he ready for F1?

Mazepin's financial situation has put him in a perfect situation to make his F1 debut. Like Lance Stroll ahead of his own F1 debut, Mazepin's family has been able to finance an extensive series of private tests in old Mercedes cars.

Mercedes hasn't made details of the tests public, but they have given Mazepin first-hand experience of world championship-winning machinery. The tests will have been specifically aimed at giving him every opportunity to hit the ground running in 2021 and could make him one of the best-prepared rookie drivers in recent years.

On top of that, Mazepin was a Force India test driver between 2016 and 2018, completing eight days of public testing with the team.