Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Zandvoort, 2021

Mazepin says Schumacher showed his “true nature” and he won’t tolerate it

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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Nikita Mazepin said he will not accept what he believes was his team mate’s decision to disobey an internal arrangement at Haas.

He complained vociferously on the radio after Mick Schumacher overtook him as the pair left the pits to begin their final runs in Q1. Mazepin said afterwards he believed he had the right to run as the first of the two Haas drivers.

“We had a discussion in the team about what happened,” he said. “And I think after that discussion there is one clear thing that’s left: the system that I was told in Imola is not the case any more. I’m not sure when it changed and how it changed.

“So we need to find a system that works because I’m not going to give in, he doesn’t want to give in. So we need to find a ruling procedure, which both of us have to apply to, not when each of us wants. We need to find a procedure that each driver has to apply to all the time with a must.

“We are a young team, as everybody says. So I think we will get better, improve, understand and become stronger from it.”

However, Schumacher’s team radio showed he asked his race engineer Gary Gannon whether he was allowed to pass Mazepin, and was told he could.

“My radio communication was clear that I was allowed to overtake him as long as it was before turn three,” said Schumacher. “And I did so.”

Schumacher said he passed Mazepin so he could increase the temperature in his tyres after they cooled while sitting in the pits. “I’ve been [running] behind him for the whole part of the weekend and it’s been quite clear already since FP3 that I needed for some reason a faster out-lap compared to him to warm up my tyres,” he said. “And that was quite noticeable in the first two runs where in turn 13 basically I have nearly no grip.”

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“I needed a faster lap and Nikita didn’t, so that’s why I asked,” Schumacher continued. “I requested and I did get the okay.

“I didn’t try to impede him or make his life difficult,” Schumacher insisted, “I was just trying to make my life a bit easier by having the opportunity to go faster. I also overtook Lando [Norris] around the lap to try and get even more heat in.”

Mazepin subsequently tried to re-pass Schumacher as Sebastian Vettel caught the pair of them. The Aston Martin driver was held up, leading the stewards to investigate the Haas pair, though both avoided a penalty.

Mazepin pointed out Schumacher was likely unaware that Vettel was catching the pair of them.

“To be fair to Mick, I was very upset because I was overtaken when I wasn’t supposed to be overtaken, and then he backed me up into Vettel. But in all fairness to him, he didn’t know that Vettel was coming. It goes a little bit towards the direction that he didn’t back me up on purpose.

“But I, on the other hand, knew that he was coming and I needed to get out of the way. So I moved to the inside but with Mick braking and making a gap to Latifi, there was nowhere to go.

“You’re always going to end up in some sort of trouble when seven cars are travelling at 30kph and a fast car is arriving at 300. But it’s been a very stressful 20 minutes of my life.”

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Today isn’t the first run-in between the Haas team mates, who have had several near-misses on several occasions and tangled at Silverstone. Asked by RaceFans whether his relationship with Schumacher can be improved, Mazepin said he will continue to be himself and follow his team’s instructions.

“I’m Russian, and the way that I believe we are is that we’re very direct and I know my place in the team. I’ve got a team boss and I’m more than happy to follow the rules because I think it’s very important to be a team, and one day the rules will play towards you, one day the rules will play against you but at least it’s consistent and you know where you stand.

“What I don’t like with people is when they are cheeky, fighting for P19. I think it just shows their true nature and I don’t tolerate that and I will just remain being myself, regardless of the outcome and I will listen to my team boss, which is Günther [Steiner] and do as I’m told, until the last day of my Formula 1 career, which hopefully is very far away.”

Mazepin team radio except from Q3

Haines:Line feedback from Ed. At turn three turn in later at turn three to stay higher.
Mazepin:I thought Mick is not allowed to overtake me? That’s not fine. You said he’s not allowed to overtake.
Haines:Copy let’s just keep the gap to him, let’s just keep the gap we need the end of the lap. Bottas behind is in sync.
Haines:Queueing cars at the end of the lap, we still have plenty of time.
Haines:Mazepin passes Norris and draws alongside Schumacher after turn 12.
The first pushing car is Vettel, currently six seconds back. Vettel now five behind on a push.
Haines:Mazepin dives down the inside of Schumacher at turn 13 but doesn’t pass.
Remember mode push. And watch for Vettel two behind. Watch for Vettel coming past. And then in sync.
Mazepin:Unclear.
Haines:Okay watch for Perez first pushing car now, four seconds back.
Mazepin:Is there a chance to go again or is that it?
Haines:No, that’s it. Perez one-and-a-half seconds back. I think he’s backed out.,
Mazepin:Yeah man what the fuck, you said to me we are the first car
Komatsu:I’ll talk to you afterwards, Nikita.

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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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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31 comments on “Mazepin says Schumacher showed his “true nature” and he won’t tolerate it”

  1. Er, yeah, you keep on being ‘yourself’, Nikita!

    1. If you read his comment you will see where he said Schumacher stepped on the brakes as he was getting out of the way. The video of the incident shows Schumacher almost at a standstill at just that moment Vettel arrived at the corner.

  2. What’s the fuss about who goes out first? Like he says himself, they are “fighting” for P19 not for pole. Just hang back a bit and create a gap.

    1. Beating your team mate is usually your first priority in racing. There have been agreements in teams among drivers who go first or last, depending on the advantage and there have been angry messages when someone felt screwed over. We rarely have the whole picture.

      1. @passingisoverrated In general I meant, what would be the benefit of going out first at this track. They don’t need a tow. Is he afraid that Schumacher will cause a yellow flag, he must know it’s more likely Mazepin will do that.

        We had the kerfuffle between Alonso and Hamilton back in Hungary 2007, but in those days IRC there was an actual advantage to being first or second due to the fuel burning. So that sort of made sense that Alonso

        Besides, Mazepin could just leave a gap and do his thing. Instead he freaks out and ruins his own preparation. Well, just like Alonso did back then I guess, but still.

    2. If you look at the onboard replay, I can see why Mazepin got frustrated with Schumacher. Right from leaving the pits he fights Mazepin (and Norris) for position, which ruins their warm-up procedure. Everyone was leaving a nice gap, but Mick went in like a bull in a china shop. And the reason for this was because it was very tight for the flag. He messed up the runs of two others, just he would be absolutely sure to make a run. And he would have made it anyways, but his impatience got the best of him.

      1. @montalvo Well Schumacher was told by the team he needs to be ahead of Mazepin before turn 3, so yeah.

        Everyone was leaving a nice gap

        So which is it? Was everyone leaving a nice gap or were three cars battling for position?

        Agreed its a bit odd that Schumacher goes ahead when they let Mazepin go out first, but Schumacher was complaining Mazepin is generally going too slow on his out lap, so it makes sense he goes ahead. That Mazepin then tags close behind is his own fault. Why didn’t Mazepin just leave a gap?

        It really feels like a problem that only exists in Mazepin’s head.

  3. Mazepin was right.
    There’s should be a clear rule.
    And we should ridicule the one who disregard an agreement. Just like multi 21.

    1. Agreed. However Mazepin will be painted as the one in the wrong. Doesn’t matter what he does he will be the villain. Think he actually dealt quite well with this as he was clearly screwed over. I am no fan of Mazepin but he deserves to be treated fairly.

      1. Mick allowed to pass which he did in T3. How did Mazepin deal well with this when he ends up in Mick’s diffusor in the penultimate corner?

  4. someone or something
    4th September 2021, 18:29

    His frustration with Schumacher may be justified. But everything after that, the fact that he cannot keep his head down and listen to his team in any way (as evidenced by two fruitless attempts to overtake Schumacher, despite his race engineer telling him to fall back and build a gap, as well as ignoring the increasingly urgent calls regarding Vettel’s track position), resulting in a ruined lap for Vettel AND for himself just confirms what most were already thinking: He’s not F1 material. His head game is weak.

    1. someone or something
      4th September 2021, 18:32

      A quick research on the term “head game” (because I started doubting myself) has revealed that it can indeed be slang for … well, you know what.
      I didn’t mean that, obviously.

  5. Wow I’d expect that from my 4-year old nephew but not an F1 driver.

  6. “I’m Russian, and the way that I believe we are is that we’re very direct ..”

    So free will doesn’t exist. Who you are is decided by your nationality, and other such artifacts. It’s hard to believe that a country as big and diverse as Russia has only one kind of personality.

    1. someone or something
      4th September 2021, 20:57

      @wsrgo
      Santino Ferrucci went down a similar path when trying to justify why he acted as mentally unstable as he did. Dragging your own nationality or heritage down in order to seem less terrible yourself, is yet another hallmark of human rectal hygiene products.

  7. Oof. Not a really grown up reponse. Unless he was interviewed 2 minutes after it happened. Then it would be the adrenaline talking. But I don’t think he has that excuse. .

  8. This makes the lack of a penalty even more ridiculous. He blocked Vettel because he was squabbling with his team mate on an out lap instead of getting out of the way of faster cars… I’m stunned that wasn’t a penalty. It’s the one thing in F1 that is actually applied consistently and even that’s gone now.

    1. Indeed @petebaldwin; for me the only alternative to giving him a standard penalty for blocking (and another penalty point) would be a harsh monetary penalty for the team to finally start dealing with this sort of stuff, which over the last years, and clearly this year, they haven’t.

  9. Fair, majure statement — they will get this sorted

  10. Peter Farrington
    4th September 2021, 21:43

    Mouth is bigger than his Talent ! No way his he a suitable F1 Driver.

    Reply moderated
  11. Schumacher passed supposedly for a reason, to get the tyres to a warmer temperature. Mazepan tries to pass back for no other reason than he was told he’d be first to go. Nothing strategic. Just an entitlement. Get rid of him. Too many talented drivers don’t have a seat.

    1. The fact Mazpin didn’t complain about his tyre temperatures doesn’t mean he’s was that much better. The fault is with the Haas team. They don’t manage their drivers properly. Why was there no communication between both sides of the team apparently it was one side of the team going against the team agreement.

      1. But given at that point Mazepin was ahead, the easy solution for getting more temperature would have been speeding up and thus solving the issue for both himself and his teammate. That he didn’t suggests that either he doesn’t know what he is doing, or alternatively that he didn’t need a faster lap, and thus could easily have let his teammate go first.

        1. Or that he was going through a process to protect his tyres. Whatever he was doing, the team should communicate to both drivers so they both know what is going on. Schumacher asked his own side of the garage and the team didn’t get back to Mazpin.

    2. Mazepin wants to cool his team mates tyres on purpose, because he knew Mick was more dependant on a fast outlap for tyre temp. That was his master plan which he was not able to execute because Mick bended the rules. He needed this plan to beat his biggest rival: his own team mate.

  12. He can say everything without consequences, as it’s his team.
    Totally unneccessary from Mazepin….

    Just the wrong attitude in this learning year…nothing to gain, only to loose.
    It’s going to be the last two positions on the grid anyway..

    Also, no more different chassis excuses since Spa: one second gap there, more than half a second here…

    Go faster, complain less.

  13. I’m starting to wonder exactly how much Mick is like Michael.

  14. I don’t know what the agreement was before they went out, but if Mazepin had used his head he could have used Schumacher passing him to his advantage. If he built the gap like his engineer kept instructing him to over the radio, he could have used Schumacher to tow him down the pit straight like Verstappen did with Perez earlier in the day. Instead he acted like a baby throwing all the toys out of the carriage, failed to listen to his engineer about Vettel approaching, spoiling his lap and has caused quite a bit of bad PR for the team. He’s neither fast enough nor has the maturity to be racing at this level.

  15. I know what will solve these shenanigans. Single lap qualy anyone…?

  16. Son of a rich guy complaining about son of famous guy.

    Reply moderated

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