Mick Schumacher says his team mate apologised for the last-lap swerve towards him on the final lap of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Schumacher passed his team mate for 13th place as the pair approached the finishing line, despite Mazepin swerving towards him as he prepared to draw alongside. Mazepin apologised following discussions with team principal Guenther Steiner and chief race engineer Ayao Komatsu, Schumacher explained.
“There was a meeting right after the after the race between Guenther, Ayao and Nikita. Obviously they talked about the incident. After they called me in and we spoke about it all together.
“He did, after seeing the video, apologised [for] it. So obviously in that sense we are all fine and I no longer thought about it afterwards.”
He admitted he did not expect his team mate to try to scare him into backing out of an overtaking move. “In the moment it was rather confusing, in a way, because I was not expecting it at all, especially between team mates.
“Obviously I understand it’s the last lap, we’ll fight. But if you come in such a tow you have, [and] all what is left basically in terms of battery and then you use everything and there’s no stopping.
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“The only way you stop somebody is by scaring him or pushing into the wall. And obviously he tried to do that. I, in fairness, kept my foot down. So I got by him anyway.
“As I said it was unexpected from my side and that’s why I had such a strong reaction to it afterwards. But as I said and as the team also mentioned, the air in that sense is all cleared up and we’re all on a fresh start for here.”
Schumacher said he will need to re-establish trust in his team mate following the incident. “I’m sure that after the talks that we had with the team, everything should be in order to build up onto that trust again. And we are all racing drivers so I’m sure we’ll manage.”
Formula 1 race director Michael Masi said the incident was not investigated at the time as it was overlooked. Schumacher expects the stewards will take action in the event of a repeat.
“If it happens again, probably there will be harsher consequences. But also in that case, probably because it was an incident that happened between team mates it’s probably kept more internally than being out-spoken and kind of dealt from and with the race directors or stewards.
“But as I said, I think that if it happens again, surely it will be addressed towards the stewards and the race director.”
However during today’s FIA press conference at Paul Ricard, Mazepin took issue with references to an “incident” between the pair.
“I think the wording there isn’t quite right,” he said. “There was no incident.
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“Both cars returned to the pits with front wings and the paint job was as polished as it was just before the race. So I would like to look at that in a pretty positive way.”
Mazepin, who kept a close eye on Schumacher in his mirror prior to the incident, said he misjudged which way his team mate was going to move.
“We’ve had a bit of a misunderstanding between us,” said Mazepin. “Obviously going into your last lap in a pretty hectic race – which is not the first one this year but something that, being a big Formula 1 fan, I haven’t seen many times a Formula 1 race being stopped – I thought he would choose the inside line and then he chose the outside line.
“When I saw that he committed to it, I backed out of it because in the end, we’re not fighting for any points and the team’s result is the priority for me.”
He said there is a “positive vibe” between the pair at the team. “It has been like that since day one and it continues to be so.
“Obviously it was both young drivers pushing the limit, you get that point like this. But like I said in the beginning as long as both cars return in one piece with each other I feel that’s fine with the team boss.”
In response to Schumacher’s comment about his apology, Mazepin said: “Our discussions that go on within the team, I believe, should stay within the team. However, if it was already brought out, I will just say that I apologised to him if that’s how he felt and he clearly was very upset.
“But I would just say it is very important that he doesn’t expect to have it too easy and I’m never going to not look for whatever reason of one another. But I just clearly didn’t expect him to be where he ended up being. And if he felt the way he did, I said sorry because that’s what I think I should be doing, but however, it wasn’t for my particular doings at that time.”
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