Antonio Giovinazzi has criticised Formula 1 rookie Nikita Mazepin for lacking respect after ruining his qualifying lap at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The pair had a run-in during Q1 at Imola as Haas driver Mazepin overtook Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo on the run to the first chicane as they both started their final flying laps and hampered the Italian’s effort.

Drivers usually follow what is considered to be a qualifying etiquette in trying to leave each other space to start their respective timed laps, but Mazepin appeared to ignore this as he got into Giovinazzi’s slipstream on the main straight and fought him for track position.

Both drivers were eliminated in the opening segment of qualifying and Giovinazzi was left unimpressed by Mazepin’s actions, saying over team radio: “What is Mazepin doing, honestly?”

It is the second time in two grands prix that the Russian has overtaken drivers at the start of the qualifying lap after doing the same at the season-opener in Bahrain.

And Giovinazzi has accused Mazepin of being disrespectful early in his F1 career.

"It's quite clear," Giovinazzi said after qualifying.

"We respect each other on this, starting the lap, and he didn't respect this. This is really not correct for a qualifying lap. I didn't make my last lap.”

Explaining his actions, Mazepin insisted he had little alternative with time running out at the end of Q1.

"In F1 it is a bit difficult as there's 20 cars, obviously, in segment one, which is where we are," he said.

"Everyone is going out at the same time, and the track is just not big enough for all of us.

"We had this chat about the gentlemen's agreement, and obviously I didn't have a problem with that. But when there is three seconds on the clock, it is either you go or you have to box, and you're going across the start/finish first.

"So I don't think there's an issue with it. I'm here to do my laps, and, you know, we are all in the same world.”

 

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