MX23RW : Sunday, August 1 07:12:51| >> :600:167035:167035:

Russian driver says Haas favours Schumacher over Mazepin

Russian driver says Haas favours Schumacher over Mazepin
© Reuters
A Russian racing driver believes fellow drivers from his country are normally relegated to number 2 status when they enter Western motorsport categories like Formula 1.

A Russian racing driver believes fellow drivers from his country are normally relegated to number 2 status when they enter Western motorsport categories like Formula 1.

Viktor Kozankov, known in Russia as a leading former open-wheel racing driver who raced against David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello, was asked to comment on the tumultuous early career of controversial F1 rookie Nikita Mazepin.

"Our drivers in Formula 1, no matter how much money they invest, are unlikely to win anything," he told Match TV.

"They sit in the cockpit, pay a certain price per kilometre, and that's it. You can see it with Mazepin and (Mick) Schumacher. The whole team works for Schumacher and will do everything to make him succeed while smiling at Mazepin."

Mazepin, who like fellow Haas rookie Schumacher is 22, is strongly backed by his father Dmitry's Uralchem company, which is also the team's title sponsor.

"They are just like that," Kozankov answered, when asked how western racing teams regard drivers from Russia.

"They will smile, but they will never lift a finger to get you somewhere. At least that's my experience.

"Back in the 80s, during a test in Italy, the owners of Formula 3 teams, Guido Forti and Ferdinando Ravarotto, told us that this policy begins even in the junior categories," he revealed.

The 62-year-old said Russian drivers and investors are therefore wasting their time in Formula 1.

"You can even buy a team, but what are you going to do with it? Formula 1 is not needed - we need to develop our own championship," said Kozankov.

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Nikita Mazepin pictured in March 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States19201352
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151238
Great BritainGreat Britain9101231
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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