Both Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, will start from the last row of the grid for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after qualifying nineteenth and twentieth respectively at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.
Mick Schumacher was top Haas on Saturday but was left frustrated with himself, the German was late to deploy his DRS costing him around a tenth of a second on his fastest lap. Had he deployed it on time, Schumacher would’ve found himself right amongst the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team drivers, who line up on the penultimate row of the grid.
Despite the mistake Schumacher believes his pace shows how far the team have come, and that he is ready to fight on Sunday.
“I delayed the deployment of my DRS, and it’s around a tenth so it’s quite frustrating but I was not anticipating being so close to the Aston Martin so that’s something I think really shows our build-up of performance over the weekend. The race is a different story – if we get the opportunity to fight we will but if we get ahead and have a good start, we might be even able to keep it.”
“I was happy with my rhythm” – Nikita Mazepin
Nikita Mazepin will start the first-ever Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from last place, the Russian was left frustrated during qualifying after a number of drivers cut ahead of the rookie whilst he was building a gap for his lap.
In the end he wasn’t able to get a final lap in, leaving him in last ahead of the race.
“The track’s still good – it cleared up from yesterday which is a positive. I was happy with my rhythm, that was totally deliberate and ended up in a very good place in FP3 and if anything, I should’ve been better in qualifying. Unfortunately, qualifying is about a lot of others letting you do your lap.
“6.1km on this track isn’t enough for even the best in our sport to get through. I was dive bombed by four or five cars into the last corner when I was trying to make a gap and ended up racing Vettel on the start-finish line so didn’t get my lap in.”