Nikita Mazepin took responsibility for the collision with his Uralkali Haas F1 Team team-mate Mick Schumacher during the Italian Grand Prix last Sunday, with the Russian apologising for spinning around the German.
Ultimately, Mazepin’s race was curtailed by an engine issue on lap forty-two, with the team deeming that it was game over as soon as the problem arose. He pulled over at the exit of the Ascari chicane and caused a brief virtual safety car as the marshals recovered his VF-21 to safety.
But the collision with Schumacher was the bigger talking point of the race, and Mazepin apologised for spinning around his team-mate, although he felt he had the right to attack for position as the German appeared to brake early for turn four.
“I had a power unit failure from what I believe – we just lost all power,” said Mazepin. “I think it was dangerous for the whole unit to continue forwards and not be able to recover it completely, so the team said to stop the car immediately.
“With Mick, he braked very early going in to Turn 4 and I just put my nose there and obviously he needed to make the corner and turn in, so I’m sorry it happened. It was my fault, but it was a racing incident.
“It was obvious that I wasn’t happy about it and that it happened. Later I had a flat spot and half a wing plate missing, we needed to box for a pit stop and then obviously the engine said goodbye.”
“In general we can be happy how we managed it today” – Mick Schumacher
Team-mate Schumacher felt he had a good race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, despite the contact with Mazepin, and although he ended up as the final classified finisher in fifteenth, he felt the team made the correct decisions throughout the race when it came to strategy.
Schumacher made it through the hectic race start unscathed, and despite late-race front wing damage, he felt his pace was relatively good, even if he was unable to fight with his closest rivals.
“Personally, I felt it was a good race,” said Schumacher. “I feel we took the right decisions in terms of strategy and I feel the communication in the race was very good.
“In terms of race start, there was a lot happening in front and with the safety car things got interesting. We had a good restart this time and we were able to fight.
“Unfortunately, I got a bit of damage on the front wing, but in general we can be happy how we managed it today.”