The first race of the Uralkali Haas F1 Team’s ‘new era’ didn’t exactly go to plan, with two rookies in an already underdeveloped, tail happy car there are bound to be mistakes with both Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher taking trips off the track, Mazepin’s ending his race on the first lap.
However, both drivers have shown visible signs of improving over pre-season testing and their first Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend, the team will be hoping that all of these learning experiences will put both drivers and the team in a more advantageous position for the 2022 regulation changes.
Nikita Mazepin doesn’t believe that his first lap crash was down to anything else except personal error, the Russian got a good start so much so that he was trying to avoid hitting his team-mate Schumacher who had a inferior start to the Russian and he lost the car – the combination of cold tyres and the kerb combining to cause his spin.
“It was very simple – I made a mistake. It was just one of those things. My start had been good, I got into turn one taking the outside line. I was then going through turn two and I was really trying to avoid Mick (Schumacher) as he was close and got too much on power – the tires didn’t take it”
Mazepin is very apologetic to the whole team as they deserved much better than the performance he gave after working so hard all weekend, despite this there will always be positives that the Russian can take away from the weekend and use this experience going forward into future Grand Prix’s.
“I’m very sorry for the team as they deserved to do much better than that. Obviously, there’s always positives you can take – the learning experience is obviously there.”
“In general, I’d say I was 90 percent happy and 10 percent not” – Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher was mostly happy with how the weekend played out, the reason that he wasn’t totally happy was his spin during the race, just after the safety car restart. Unlike his team-mate, Schumacher was able to recover the car and finish his first Grand Prix, gaining some valuable experience along the way.
“In general, I’d say I was 90 percent happy and 10 percent not – because of the mistake I made, the spin, at the safety car restart. Luckily the car was still drivable, everything was alright so I could keep going and continue to build on my experience through the race weekend.”
After this, Schumacher drove with the medium (C3) and hard (C4) tyres which both felt good for the German rookie, sadly he was unable to catch the other backmarker’s towards the end of the Grand Prix, but he was able to catch the Williams of Nicholas Latifi and get experience of DRS and following a car in ‘dirty air.’ Throughout the whole weekend, Schumacher gained some great experience and hopefully this can be used to help the German’s ‘race-craft’ in future Grand Prix’s.
“Obviously, after that I went through the C3 and the C2, which felt really good. It was a bit of a shame that I wasn’t in the pack to be able to at least try to be close to the guys for a few laps. Fortunately, I did get through things like blue flags and I caught up to Nicholas (Latifi) – so I was able to feel how it was to follow a car closely and have DRS. Overall, I feel like I’ve learned a lot, and hopefully I’m able to convert that into something positive for the next race.”