Nikita first gripped the steering wheel of a kart at the age of seven, after being taken to a rental kart track close to his family home in Moscow.

He enjoyed the experience so much, that he quickly persuaded his father to take him three times a week and began competing in the circuit’s own championship – in which he duly took victory in every round.

This prompted a family friend to suggest he try his hand at club racing, in the 60cc Mini category. “It was hard, but interesting,” Nikita recalls. “I did some testing and my dad decided that I was ready to enter some races and see how we got on.”

The results were encouraging, so the Mazepins continued. Two years later, Nikita clinched the Russian Championship Cup.

In 2010, Nikita joined DR Racing Kart for his first foray into international racing, still in the Mini kart class.

For the following season, he linked up with Italian giants Birel Motorsport, before switching to Chiesa Corse in 2012. It was at this time that he also met 2005 World Karting Champion, Oliver ‘Oli’ Oakes.

Oakes had an instant impact. Mazepin signed for the factory Tony Kart Racing Team and, just one race after joining the Prevalle squad, he won the second round of the WSK Masters Series.

He followed this breakthrough victory with 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the Italian Championship before going on to star in the 2013 World Junior Championship final.

A 10-second penalty deprived Nikita of ‘Vice-Champion’ status, after he crossed the finishing line in 2nd place – but his enthusiasm and passion to win remains undimmed.

Nikita went into the 2014 season full of confidence, stepping up to the senior KF class with Tony Kart, despite doing so at the age of just 14. It proved to be a stellar year, culminating with 2nd place at the World Championship in Essay, France.

Having signed-off his karting career on the podium, it came as no surprise that his transition to single-seaters immediately yielded silverware. Mazepin was on the MRF Challenge podium in his first ever car race at Doha (Qatar) and went on to enjoy further success in the AsiaCup Series.

In 2015, he contested the New Zealand-based Toyota Racing Series before returning to Europe for the prestigious Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) season where he became a podium finisher.

Continuing his rapid progression, Nikita graduated into the FIA Formula 3 European Championship for the 2016 season – notably becoming a points finisher on his debut weekend in the category.