Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Mazepin feeling “not too confident” with car ahead of Monaco GP debut

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Nikita Mazepin admitted he still lacks confidence in his car ahead of his first time racing in Formula 1 in Monaco.

The Haas driver has taken the chequered flag last and well behind his fellow rookie team mate Mick Schumacher in the last three races.

“Being very honest [I’m] not too confident because so far I’ve struggled with the car this year,” said Mazepin in today’s FIA press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

“I haven’t been able to extract the most out of it and the balance was appearing very late in the weekend where the grip was arriving with soft compounds. So therefore I found the car, most of the time, very unpredictable.”

Like his fellow rookies, Mazepin had only limited testing opportunities before the season began. “But as you know it’s a 23-race year and we’re quite early on still, so I think getting confident in Monaco will be important, going forward,” he added.

His priority this weekend is to get more experience in his VF-21.

“The goals are to make laps and to build up to it gradually throughout FP1 to qualifying,” he said. “Realistically, we need to find our ways here. It’s a driver’s circuit and driving skills, I believe, matter a lot around here.

“I’m quite confident going in with myself but of course knowing that there is not much downforce available in the car to fight with our competitors, it’s not going to be easy.”

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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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17 comments on “Mazepin feeling “not too confident” with car ahead of Monaco GP debut”

  1. For Mazepin it’s going to go either very well or horrifying.

    1. His comments don’t inspire me with much confidence. However, I will add that many not so amazing drivers have been absolute Monaco specialists (DC and Webber).

      1. Given how he sounded before this season, I’m glad we’re finally seeing some humility from Mazepin after getting destroyed these first few races. We might start seeing improvement from now on.

    2. He spins. Calling it.

  2. I actually think it is good that he admits to the world, and to himself, that he is not feeling in control when driving the badly handling Haas F1 car. I do hope that Mazepin spares us the contionuation of spins and disruption of sessions, although it would hardly surprise anyone if he did do that. And hamper someone qualifying on the go too.

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    19th May 2021, 16:39

    I guess the lack of run off area makes his customary spin more unfortunate than usual.

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      20th May 2021, 2:16

      guess he’ll just get every session of the entire weekend red-flagged

  4. If he doesn’t cause a Safety Car or Red Flag this weekend I’ll be amazed to be honest. Maybe that’s harsh but it feels like he has spun in almost every single session so far. Mick has spun a few times too for sure but Mazepin is like clockwork. On a track like Monaco it could be a recipe for disaster (if he was in amongst the pack).

    1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
      19th May 2021, 18:23

      If he was in amongst the pack 😉

      I hope he won’t cause problems every time he’s lapped…

      1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
        20th May 2021, 2:17

        assuming he’s still in the race at that point. I think he’s gonna be a bigger issue at the start.

    2. He got the nickname Mazespin before the first race even started, so that should tell you something

  5. Ill bet a years salary he crashes within the first 10 laps.

    1. I’d be amazed if he has enough spare parts remaining to start the race after 3 practice sessions and a qualifying.

  6. Carlos Furtado das Neves
    19th May 2021, 18:29

    Not very confident…
    Hope it will not resume to a lot of red flags.

  7. With latifi and tsunoda also in the race, the marshalls are going to be busy.

  8. Neither are we.

  9. I think Mazepin is being too hard on himself. To be honest, no one expects him to qualify higher than P20. That’s his expected performance given his abilities and the car’s performance level.

    Regarding the race, I think it will be exciting to get a safety car period and hopefully see an order shuffle. I’m pretty sure the Mazepin can bin it and give us that exciting period during the race. We can only hope he lasts at least a dozen or so laps before crashing out, so it gives drivers the option of choosing alternate pit strategies. I also think Mazepin can provide a lot of entertainment by blocking other drivers in different sessions, and causing some red flags.

    Overall, I think Mazepin is not gauging his performance on the right criteria. No one expects skill, pace and race craft from him at all.. what we expect is some entertainment.. and I think he’ll deliver on that front.

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