Nikita Mazepin has signed a “multi-year” deal to race for the Haas team and will make his Formula 1 debut in 2021.

The Russian currently sits third in the Formula 2 championship standings heading into this weekend’s season finale in Bahrain and requires a top-seven finish in order to obtain an FIA superlicence.

Mazepin has claimed two victories and a total of six podiums in his second season in F2 with Hitech Grand Prix and has previously carried out F1 tests with Racing Point and Mercedes.

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“Becoming a Formula 1 driver is a lifelong dream come true for me,” Mazepin said.

“I really appreciate the trust being put in me by Gene Haas, Guenther Steiner, and the whole of the team. They’re giving a young driver an opportunity and I thank them for that.

“I’m looking forward to starting our relationship together, both on and off the track, and I’m naturally keen to continue to demonstrate my abilities after a strong Formula 2 season.

“The team will be looking to me for feedback and inputs in order to refine its package for 2021 and beyond. I will take that responsibility on and can’t wait to get started.”

The 21-year-old, who finished runner-up in the 2018 GP3 series, also topped a 2019 in-season testing session in Barcelona for Mercedes.

“I’m delighted that Nikita Mazepin will be driving for Haas F1 Team next season,” added Haas team principal Guenther Steiner.

“Nikita has underlined his credentials in Formula 2 this year with a brace of victories and a handful of podiums in what’s been a strong sophomore season for him.

“He’s developed into a mature racer moving up through the junior ranks – notably most recently in the GP3 Series, where he finished runner-up in 2018, and obviously in Formula 2 over the past two seasons.

“I’m excited to see what Nikita can achieve in Formula 1 and we look forward to giving him the opportunity to compete at the highest level of world motorsport. With a record-setting 23 race schedule set for the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, he’s going to get plenty of track action to learn all the nuances of grand prix racing.”

Haas will announce who will partner Mazepin before the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 13 December but it is widely expected that current F2 championship leader Mick Schumacher will land the seat.