Haas driver Nikita Mazepin said he felt “lost” after the team tried some radical set-up changes during practice in an attempt to unlock more performance from their car.
“With this car, I would say it’s probably one of the most difficult aero packages I’ve ever driven,” said Mazepin.
“The issue with the set-ups is that they don’t really make sense to what feedback they give. Therefore, I’m quite lost in that respect because coming from junior formulas, more aero balance means more oversteer. But in F1 it definitely doesn’t mean that.”
Mazepin said he intends to work on his communication with his engineers. “I’ve always gone with the approach that a driver does his job and the engineers do theirs, but at the moment, I think we speak a bit of a different language.
“I’m going to study, without joking, quite a few details of that to understand how I can also advise the team on making the car better, because I think the way it’s working now is not very promising.”
During second practice Mazepin was told the target for a fast lap time was 1’05.6. He ended the session with a 1’06.1, two-tenths of a second slower than the other Haas of Mick Schumacher.
His team mate was more upbeat about the team’s chances. “I think we’re a bit faster compared to last week”, said Schumacher. “That’s also because everybody just knows where to put the car.
“But it was interesting, especially the long runs, because it’s going to be the weather probably [we] will find in the race. So we collected good data and now it’s about time to analyse and try to figure out what we can do better for the race.”
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