Mick Schumacher says there is no reason to be sad even though he finished a lowly nineteenth on Sunday after a positive weekend at Intercity Istanbul Park.
The Uralkali Haas F1 Team driver had started an encouraging fourteenth on the grid after a superb display during the tricky Qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. But being amid the midfield had its perils for the German on Sunday as he was spun around by Fernando Alonso at turn four to fall to be back of the pack.
Nevertheless, Schumacher did not let it affect him and he was able to bring the car home, learning a lot about driving in difficult conditions. But he knew he was out of position on the grid and felt the race result was reflective on where the pace of the VF-21 is in 2021.
“We knew it was going to be tough and I think because there was no real chaos, the result that we drove today was realistic anyway,” said Schumacher. “Again, we learned a lot, we learned how to be competitive at the race start and we just have to analyze how we do it even better.
“Overall, it’s been a very positive weekend. There’s no reason for me to be sad because I’m not in the championship fight, so anything good from this weekend – I’ll take it – and anything bad I will leave it behind and learn from it.”
“I did a clean race out there” – Nikita Mazepin
Team-mate Nikita Mazepin finished twentieth and last in Turkey, but he was happy to come through the tricky race in difficult conditions without any errors.
The Russian admitted the race was a weird one as the track did not completely dry out, meaning he was able to learn a lot about running on the intermediate tyre, with the experience vital as he continues to develop his skills.
“The race organizers have done an amazing job since last year to improve the conditions for the drivers,” said Mazepin. “From my side, it was pure joy to be here all weekend.
“I did a clean race out there, stayed out of trouble in the first lap and drove the best I could. Unfortunately, you know the conditions were very weird today in the respect that the track never really dried out.
“I didn’t anticipate that the intermediate tyres needed time to get into the slick condition to give us good times. These conditions are priceless because as much as they’re difficult to drive in, they’re very useful.”