Haas F1 Driver Mick Schumacher Doesn’t Trust Teammate Nikita Mazepin06/17/2021
There’s nothing quite like a heated battle for 13th place to bring out the best, or sometimes the worst, in a Formula 1 driver.
The latest chapter in the Nikita Mazepin-Mick Schumacher era of the Haas F1 Team resulted in just that on June 6 in Baku, as Mazpin nearly pinched fellow F1 rookie Schumacher into the wall on the last straight of the F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku with all the glory that comes with a 13th-place finish on the line.
Schumacher said that it comes down to a matter of trust when driving wheel-to-wheel with a rival, and right now, Schumacher doesn’t have a whole lot of trust in Mazepin.
“You have to race with him,” Schumcher said in a video press conference today ahead of Sunday’s F1 French Grand Prix. “I think that trust is built and for sure can be built again. Obviously, right now, I don’t really know what to expect from him in a 1-v-1. At the end, I’m sure that after the talks that we had with the team, everything should be in order to build up to that trust again. We’re all racing drivers, so I’m sure we’ll manage.
Stewards declined to look further into the incident at Baku.
“I think if it happens again, probably there will be harsher consequences,” Schumacher said. “But also since it was an incident that happened between teammates, it’s probably kept more internally. I think if it happens again, surely it will be addressed toward the stewards and the race director.”
Mazepin, speaking in a separate video conference today, was anything but apologetic about the incident.
“I thought he would choose the inside line and he chose the outside line, and when I saw that he committed to it, I ducked out of it,” Mazepin said. “Because in the end, we’re not fighting for any points and the team’s result is the priority.
“I think we have a positive vibe, if I can call it like this, in the team and it has been like that since day one and it continues to be so. We’re both young drivers pushing the limits, you get to a point like this. But like I said in the beginning, as long as both cars are returning in one piece with each other, I feel that’s fine with the team boss.”
The 13th- and 14-place finishes in Baku were the best for the two drivers so far in their rookie season with Haas. Schumacher gained the 13th position on the final straight.
“Obviously, there was a situation on the straight, that was all resolved, and we’ve cleared the air,” Haas Team principal Guenther Steiner said after the race in Baku. “There was some misunderstanding, but we’re fine and all moving on from it.”
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