Nikita Mazepin enjoyed his first Russian Grand Prix, with the Russian making a super start to move up to thirteenth before falling back as the faster runners found a way passed.
The Uralkali Haas F1 Team driver was embroiled in a good battle in the early laps with a number of drivers, but when he pitted and after a lock-up, he fell to the back of the pack, ultimately finishing eighteenth and last of those to see the chequered flag.
Mazepin enjoyed his time on the intermediate tyres at the end of the race, with the Haas driver one of the early stoppers for them. However, such was the gap to his rivals, he was unable to benefit and gain any positions despite being on the correct tyre at the right moment.
“It was a long race – loads of things happening,” said Mazepin. “I had a very good first opening lap and then did my best to hold the faster cars behind using the battery cleverly, which I think I did well.
“Then after we boxed, came out on hard tyres, I still tried to keep the cars behind and obviously one overtook me, and then I had a lock-up and unfortunately for us when the hard tyres lock-up, they don’t ever come back.
“We as a team made a good call to go on to inters, I was one of the very first cars and gained quite a bit of time back. It was fun to overtake some cars that I would never be able to overtake. Nevertheless, we know where we stand and now eyes forward on to the next race.”
“We’ll take away the positives” – Mick Schumacher
Team-mate Mick Schumacher had a troubled day, with the German failing to finish a Grand Prix for the first time in his career due to a hydraulic issue.
Despite the retirement, Schumacher reckoned he had pretty good pace at times during the race in Sochi, and there are plenty of positives for Haas to take away and learn from heading into the Turkish Grand Prix next month.
“We obviously had an issue and we were trying to fix it out on track but didn’t manage,” said Schumacher. “It is what it is, we live and we learn and it’s Formula 1 – so things can happen.
“It’s my first retirement this year and I was certainly hoping it would take some more time, or not happen at all this year but it’s a part of the game.
“We were very good in terms of pace and the car felt really good out there. We’ll take away the positives, analyze them and take them on to Turkey.”