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Nikita Mazepin has revealed he will not skip his mandatory military service just because he competes in Formula 1. The rookie is currently enjoying – or enduring – his first season in the sport with uncompetitive outfit Haas alongside fellow youngster Mick Schumacher.
Last June, Mazepin’s father – billionaire Dmitry Mazepin – complained because his son has to still do his compulsory military service as a Russian citizen.
It would undoubtedly be difficult for Nikita to commit to both the service and his Formula 1 career
“In Russia, military service is compulsory for anyone who is suitable for it,” Mazepin told Speedweek.com.
“There are then two possibilities. The first is that you finish university and serve a year and the second is to enter the army if their physical training and academic grades are good enough.
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“In the military division, you study one day a week to become a reserve officer at the end. This training takes three years, but everything happens in the classroom.
“I’ve been studying at the military division for two years now, so there’s another year ahead of me.”
Asked about whether he will complete his military service, Mazepin revealed it will be undertaken during the Formula 1 offseason between December and March.
“The school year has just started again. After all, I’m not in the army, I’m in military service, as I said, where I have to finish this year,” the Russian acknowledged.
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“I am looking forward to my time in the Balashikha training camp and then I will also live in the barracks for a month.”
The Haas driver also spoke openly about his life outside the cockpit of a racing car, and mentioned his education is a key aspect of his life.
Mazepin understands the importance of education, particularly as an athlete with a limited career – and he even went to classes during the week of the Russian Grand Prix.
“Today I went to lectures at the University of Moscow, as I am currently cramming for my Masters,” the 22-year-old continued.
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“Did I get any special treatment because I am a Formula One driver? No, I haven’t.
“But I have had several problems due to absences and bad grades. But I think studying is important, because sport doesn’t last forever.
“To be honest, for me it was never a question whether I should study or not.”
Formula 1 returns with the Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park on October 10.
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