Nikita Mazepin admitted he nearly crashed his Haas while trying to discover how strong the turbulent air was behind another Formula 1 car.
“It’s an ongoing topic that Formula 1 cars have a lot of downforce and do lose a lot of downforce following other cars,” Mazepin explained.
“With such limited running, and obviously a lot of cars being most likely in front of me at the start of the race in Bahrain, I wanted to experience the amount of downforce that I will lose.
“I did get to experience that. I almost crashed, to be honest, because the wind was huge and that was a bit of a worrying moment. But good to try it.”
Mazepin’s car snapped to the right at the exit of turn three – close to where his Haas predecessor Romain Grosjean had his enormous, fireball crash in last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
“Antonio was on a lower-fuel run and was doing not consecutive laps,” said Mazepin. “I was going for the whole race distance and my pace was slower so he overtook me and I wanted to stay behind and learn my way through.”
Mazepin said the turbulence feels much stronger in F1 than it did in F2. “There’s a very big difference, but it’s not a surprise to me,” he said.
“F2 does have a lot of downforce as well. It’s a heavier car so there are small gains here and there. But overall it’s not a new thing to me because races are more difficult.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2021 F1 season
- Masi says he received “death threats” over months after Abu Dhabi controversy
- Masi did make mistake with title-deciding Abu Dhabi GP restart, Horner admits
- Williams fined for late submission of budget cap documents
- The omission in the FIA’s Abu Dhabi report which may store up trouble for the future
- New insights but notable omissions in Drive to Survive’s account of F1’s 2021 finale