Steiner says Haas ‘have their work cut out’ with Mazepin after F2 penalties

2021 F1 season

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Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says Nikita Mazepin’s two penalties in yesterday’s Formula 2 race shows they have work to do with their new Formula 1 driver for 2021.

Mazepin was confirmed last week as part of a new, all-rookie line-up at the team alongside Mick Schumacher. However he collected two penalties in yesterday’s Formula 2 race, putting him on a total of 11 penalty points, one away from the threshold for an automatic ban.

Although Mazepin’s disciplinary record does not put his F1 debut in doubt, Steiner admits his future driver will have to avoid similar mistakes in future.

“I’ve seen the F2 race, he got the penalty,” said Steiner. “I think it’s part of learning and for sure we have got our work cut out, I guess, I think I’m right there.

“We need to learn from this and see that these mistakes are not done,” he added.

Mazepin’s penalty dropped him from third to ninth in the race. Nonetheless, his final championship position will be high enough to ensure he qualifies for a Formula 1 superlicence.

“The good thing is he bought the superlicence home today, which is an achievement done,” said Steiner. “But these things happen, as I know, these things happen when your brain goes away.”

Steiner admitted the uncertainty over Mazepin’s superlicence has been “an extra headache” but he expected the Hitech racer would qualify.

“When we signed him we knew that there was a little chance that he couldn’t make it. But in the end, you take some risks and you just say, we do it, and then if you don’t get there, we cross that bridge when we get there.”

“I was very confident that he would get it done from his former experience,” Steiner added. “For sure, if [he] would have had an accident [and] he couldn’t drive for a few races, it would have been difficult.

“But otherwise, you look at the other drivers, where they are at and you just decide. But you take a little risk but then it worked our way, thanks God.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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32 comments on “Steiner says Haas ‘have their work cut out’ with Mazepin after F2 penalties”

  1. “The good thing is he bought the superlicence home today”

    Freudian slip there, guys?

    1. Haha, thought the same thing @aiii!

    2. LOL @aiii

      Truth in advertising. A F1 first!

  2. With great money comes great responsibility.

    1. Absolutely

  3. Does this show how much input they’ve had in their own driver lineup?

  4. “But these things happen, as I know, these things happen when your brain goes away.” Indeed Guenther – it’s a like for like replacement in some ways isn’t it?

    1. Schumacher has a touch of Haas driver culture about him brake testing opponents on apexes and cutting others up so they lose grip and hit him and then griping about victims as offenders.

      So you are right, Haas may well have regenerated its current drivers. Perhaps they have an old fashioned police box hidden in the factory?

  5. Jose Lopes da Silva
    6th December 2020, 13:17

    “these things happen when your brain goes away.”

    I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. I know what this means when a boss says it about an employee.

    I know I won’t pay TV to see Stroll, Mazepin and Latifi racing, that’s for sure, just as I don’t pay now (watch German TV commercials, instead). I’m sorry. This was not the idea you sold me 30 years ago.

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        6th December 2020, 15:20

        Name one driver of those having bougth a team. Buying cars stopped happening in late seventies.
        It’s more than 40 drivers out there. How many of them were pay drivers like Paolo Barilla?
        You want pay drivers? Open up the competition and let there be 15 teams again.
        Or let’s just go back to the Fifties and have gentlemen drivers championship. I’m ok with that. I’ll just do something else.

    1. Not the nicest thing to hear from your future boss.

    2. I enjoyed the full race today (though still with the annoying Sky mishaps) and saw Stroll get deservedly onto the podium.
      I hope you enjoyed your adverts.

      1. José Lopes da Silva
        6th December 2020, 22:27

        I watch Perez humiliate Stroll again, fortunately. Thanks

  6. Haas has continued tradition of hiring 2 dirty drivers good thing they are at the back of grid.

    1. There’s a difference between aggressive and dirty. Schumacher has done nothing this season to suggest he’s a dirty driver. The moments he’s made mistakes like clashing with Shwartzman in Silverstone, he’s come on to apologise immediately. Mazepin’s driving is actually dirty.

    2. Mazepin is more erratic, I think he would get sacked if he did something that we all would find totally unacceptable.

      1. I guess you could say that it is good he got Steiner as a team boss!

  7. Already missing his podium winner proven drivers ?

  8. What’s Haas prospects anyway? Are they a sort of Alpha Tauri to Ferrari? Or do they want to compete for wins one day?

    One has to wonder what are their motives. When they joined F1 it was like they were trying something different to succeed. Now they hired two mildly successful rookies with a great name and good money and have a woeful car that’s not going toale progress next year either.

    1. I think it’s essentially a marketing vehicle for the Haas brand at this point. Gene Haas is basically trying to use it for keeping the Haas name out there on a global scale, while trying to keep costs to a minimum, hence the Ferrari connections and why they were looking for a pay driver next year.

  9. Schumacher and many others are fighting aggressively and they provided us some very exciting racing. Mazepin should’ve been black flagged rather than be let onto the podium to take the third trophy. The season didn’t disappoint though and there have been so many great races and so many great battles. If we could only get that back regularly in F1 wouldn’t that be something else..?

  10. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    6th December 2020, 13:54

    oh well, more race appearances for Fittipaldi, I guess

    1. This made me laugh:)

  11. Gene will have to increase their door budget, there will be a lot of f**smashing next year!

  12. “But you take a little risk but then it worked our way, thanks God.”

    I’m not sure if it is a good thing that Gunther is thanking god for his driver for the next season. Not the brightest start for them tbh.

  13. Better reinforce that door on your office Steiner so it doesn’t blow off :)

  14. However he collected two penalties in yesterday’s Formula 2 race, putting him on a total of 11 penalty points, one away from the threshold for an automatic ban.

    If he’s just had 2 penalty points added to his Superlicence, then that means prior to that race he had 9 penalty points, suggesting he had something like 7 or 9 points when he signed with Haas. What I don’t understand is why they signed a driver with that many penalty points, and why it wasn’t part of his contract that if he got a race ban then they’d terminate his contract. Anyway, Pietro Fittipaldi won’t mind if Nikita does get a race ban, he’ll be able to get more real driving experience and Nikita can do the the “sim” work.
    I still think they should have signed someone with experience for that seat, e.g. Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, etc.

  15. Makes his comments comparing Mazepin to Lauda and Perez a bit silly now. I wish they just said outright that they are taking him primarily because of the money. Maybe he won’t bin the car at every race and be a total embarrassment but that’s not why they took him.

  16. Coming into F1 with a reputation of brainfade is not good.

  17. But think of the things we will get to see on the Netflix series. Can’t wait.

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