Dec.5 - Nikita Mazepin insists he is "not offended" that he is often regarded as just another pay-driver in Formula 1.

The 21-year-old rookie, whose father Dmitry is a Russian oligarch and billionaire, has been signed by Haas to be Mick Schumacher's teammate next year.

Team boss Gunther Steiner is also not ruling out that Mazepin senior's company Uralkali, a Russian fertiliser producer, could sponsor Haas next year.

"Is it a shame that many people associate my success with my father's wealth?" Nikita Mazepin told the Russian broadcaster RBK.

"Why should I be offended to read that my father is a successful, intelligent, purposeful person? Of course I am not offended," he insisted.

"There is some frustration that people associate my success with my father's money, but I'm confident in myself. I see my results. And I don't think much about these sorts of discussions.

"I'll just do my job," Mazepin, currently third in the Formula 2 standings at the last round of the season, added.

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