Formula 1

Mick Schumacher: “We expected worse so we’re happy with what we managed to do”

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Credit: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

Mick Schumacher enjoyed his first taste of racing at the Circuit of the Americas on Sunday, even though the Uralkali Haas F1 Team driver finished down in sixteenth position.

Schumacher felt that with five more laps he could have closed the gap to Nicholas Latifi enough to be able to make an attempt at an overtake on the Williams Racing driver, but ultimately, he ran out of laps and was forced to settle for sixteenth.

The German also played a small role in the battle for the lead, with Schumacher allowing Max Verstappen to pass him just after the DRS detection zone heading into the final corner, which enabled the Red Bull Racing driver to stay ahead of championship rival Lewis Hamilton until the chequered flag.

“It was fun – I enjoyed it,” said Schumacher.  “Overall, we expected worse so we’re happy with what we managed to do with the package we had. I had some tight battles, especially at the start and we were right in the mix, and all of those things are preparing me for next year.

“We were catching up to Latifi in the last few laps and I think with five more laps we probably would’ve been close enough to make a move. I really enjoy being in the States and the fans are great spectators – I’ve loved racing in front of them.”

“At turn two on the opening lap the headrest came off” – Nikita Mazepin

Team-mate Nikita Mazepin was forced into an unscheduled pit stop at the end of the opening lap that left him right at the back of the pack, with the Russian’s headrest coming loose at the second turn.

Mazepin was forced to drive relatively conservatively on the way back to the pit lane as the dislodged headrest was blocking his mirrors, but the time lost making the stop meant he was destined to be the last of the classified finishers in seventeenth position.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t very busy because at turn two on the opening lap the headrest came off in my car,” said Mazepin.  “It was quite a sketchy lap because my headrest lifted and blocked both of my mirrors.

“I had to ask the team if there was anyone around me, hoping there wasn’t because I couldn’t know where to turn in or not, and then that’s over 25 seconds of race time for an unnecessary pitstop.

“It made it pretty difficult from there onwards as I was driving on my own and trying to make one pitstop work, but with these temperatures and these tyres, it was just not possible.”

It was a lonely race for Nikita Mazepin after being forced to pit on lap one due to a loose headrest – Credit: Steven Tee / LAT Images
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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