Mazepin: Schumacher clash showed ‘you should lift when there’s a bollard in front’

2021 Italian Grand Prix

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Nikita Mazepin says there will be no change in the rules of engagement between the two Haas drivers following the latest incident between the pair in the Dutch Grand Prix.

It occured as Schumacher tried to pass Mazepin at the beginning of the second lap of the race. As he drew alongside, Mazepin moved towards him, forcing Schumacher towards the inside of the track where he appeared to strike the pit lane entry bollard.

It was the latest in a series of close encounters between the pair, including a similar move by Mazepin on the last lap of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. But following discussions within the team since last weekend, Mazepin said they are satisfied he had not done anything wrong.

“It’s good to know that I’m not in the bad books, so that’s positive,” he said in today’s FIA press conference at Monza. “But I want to respect the privacy of those discussions. The doors were closed and I don’t think it will be comfortable for all parties if it was an open discussion.”

The team has not changed its guidance to the two drivers on how they should race each other, Mazepin added. “They have not because we’ve deemed that I have not broken any sort of rules or violation within the FIA sporting and racing regulations. Therefore we’re going to work as a team to try and fix that.

“But perhaps sometimes you need to lift when you see that there is a bollard in front of you instead of damaging your car.”

The incident was not investigated by the stewards. When asked about the clash on Sunday evening after the grand prix FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi said he hadn’t seen it at the time. “I’d have to go and look at the incident again with a fresh set of eyes,” said Masi.

Schumacher’s uncle Ralf Schumacher, a former Formula 1 driver, strongly criticised Mazepin’s driving after the race. Asked about his comments, Mazepin said: “There’s a very interesting phrase regarding opinions in the English language to do with that. I obviously respect opinions because everyone’s got them.

“It just seems like he’s obviously protecting his family. And what can I say? If his family needs protection in Formula 1, then I’m more than happy to listen to those things.”

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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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46 comments on “Mazepin: Schumacher clash showed ‘you should lift when there’s a bollard in front’”

  1. Mick better hope he can move to Alfa Romeo. Not avoiding contact might be the only way Nikita Mazepin will learn. But putin the “son of the checkbook” in hospital by not avoiding contact would also mean the end of the contract for Mick Schumacher at Haas.. He needs to get out of there asap

    1. no way, Mick also brings in money and in terms of marketing at least i think he is a necessary addition

      1. I really think Mazepin has a much bigger sponsor money with him. But a place next to Bottas is for the best.

  2. Mazepin is behaving exactly as everyone expected.
    Wait.. how much? Oh, that’s fine then.

    1. I thought the unwritten rule was “you should never crash with a team mate” – obviously Mazepin never received the memo

      1. And neither did Mick I suppose…

  3. “Look, my dad pays the bills here, I race how I like”

  4. The incident was shown on TV, Mazepin’s onboard view, so weird if Masi really didn’t see it at the time.

  5. Of course most people will blame Mazepin for everything just because it’s Mazepin, but so far IMO neither driver seems that much better or worse than the other.
    Mazepin drives almost exactly like he did in F2 so nobody should be surprised, and Schumacher drives just like his father – extremely assertively, to the point of choosing contact over loss of position.

    Same as Grosjean and Magnussen before them, it almost always takes two to tango. Each one can avoid each other, but they just don’t seem to want to.

    1. Or we can blame Mazepin for making extremely late swerves that risk another driver reacting and being involved in a severe crash, which is what happened here, and in Baku earlier. How is that a question of one driver being “Better or worse” than the other, like at all?

      1. Bottas on Russell in the wet last year was 10 times worse and many blamed Russell.
        But Mazepin being stupid before has turned everyone against him

    2. I disagree. I know the car is abismal, but from what I’ve seen so far, Mick is a little bit better than Mazespin … sorry Mazepin. At the very least he can (mostly) keep the car on the track. Furthermore, people who know a lot more than me (other F1 drivers) all seem to have a problem with Mazepin and not so with Mick.

      Reply moderated
    3. someone or something
      9th September 2021, 19:04

      Of course most people will blame Mazepin for everything just because it’s Mazepin, but so far IMO neither driver seems that much better or worse than the other.

      Erm
      Schumacher has not been outqualified by Mazepin a single time so far (being on average 0.7% closer to pole, i.e. 5-6 tenths)*.
      Schumacher has finished ahead 8-2 in the races (no comparison in 3 races due to DNF, but Mazeping was only likely to finish ahead in one of them).
      In 6 out of these races**, Schumacher’s advantage was in the double-digits, usually at least half a lap (Imola: 68 seconds, Portimão: 63 seconds, Barcelona: 40 seconds, Le Castellet: 14 seconds, Spielberg 1: 42, Spielberg 2: 51). Conversely, whenever Mazepin finished ahead, Schumacher was right behind him.

      Long story short:
      In order not to see how much worse one driver is than the other, you really, really have to want not to see it.

      *Mazepin technically still qualified ahead twice, by virtue of Schumacher missing the Monaco and Hungarian GP qualifyings.
      ** The only exception being Azerbaijan (Schumacher just 0.1 ahead after a last-lap overtake). Belgium not counted due to finishing behind the Safety Car.

    4. “but so far IMO neither driver seems that much better or worse than the other.”

      “There’s a very interesting phrase regarding opinions in the English language to do with that. I obviously respect opinions because everyone’s got them.”

  6. Mazespinning the truth

    Reply moderated
  7. Haas is not going to intervene in this, so it’s double as important that the stewards intervene on their behalf and start dishing out some serious penalties to get Mazepin to stop driving like this.

    There is no excuse that there was no response from them last race to Mazepin, nor was there in Baku. They penalize the dumbest smallest racing incidents, but when someone is genuinely being a menace a track there’s no penalties, no points, no consequence. How does that even happen.

    1. Truly, it is a complete my$tery.

  8. Mick’s uncle should said that to Nikita’s dad.

  9. The defence by Mazzepin was aggressive but I don’t think it was too bad.

    It wasn’t noted or investigated by the stewards (Who don’t need Masi to ask them to investigate things so him saying he didn’t see it isn’t really relevant) & on on the Sky commentary Jenson Button didn’t seem too upset with it either when the replay was shown & Nico Rosberg, Anthony Davidson & Karun Chandhok also didn’t see it as an issue in Sky’s post race analysis.

    Back in the days when guys like Senna & Mansell (And Schumacher) did stuff like that (And i’ve seen both be far more aggressive than this) it was called good, hard racing but to modern/younger fans it’s unacceptable because with DRS producing easy push of a button highway passes they sadly don’t know what real racing is. I feel for those fans who have never seen real racing on real circuits due to only having seen the gimmick-fest current F1 where real racing isn’t allowed anymore.

    1. Well, Jenson made his thoughts quite clear I believe. Maybe not on the TV feed, but apparently afterwards.

      Reply moderated
    2. @roger-ayles

      Quite the contrary, Button ripped on Mazepin in a recent article in motorsport-total, non English site. Quoting Button that that what Mazepin did was not good and dangerous and that if he wants to have a long career in F1 that he needs to change his attitude and driving style.
      “If he wants a long career in Formula 1, then he has to change his mind. He’s way too aggressive. “

      Also Button also disliked the fact that Masepin lacked self-criticism in the interviews afterwards; plus: “He just did everything to keep his team-mate behind him” criticized Button

      Rosberg was recently quoted: “If I were in a duel with Mazepin on a straight, I would be really scared. It’s not possible what he does there,”

      Plus, there is an absolute and distinct difference between Senna & Mansell and big Schumacher, can’t imagine how you can compare Mazespin to them and also say what Mazepin has been doing is ok and call it as good racing? I was at Spa in ’87 so let’s please not keep playing the newbie factor, I saw Mansell & Senna race at Spa. Back then then any junior who acted like Mazespin would get quickly put into his place by the other drivers, done behind the scene’s. You first had to earn the right to act like that; something Mazepin very much has not done.

      1. Bottas on Russell in the wet last year was 10 times worse and many blamed Russell.

  10. Mick is terrible. He can’t even get out of mazepins orbid. It’ like the Andretti and Fittipaldi diminishing racing gene pool. I wish they would stop forcing these drivers only because of their names on us.

    1. Without Jos in F1 there’d be no Max in F1.

      1. Or Max but with his mother’s maiden name…imagine that.

    2. to be fair, Mick did win F2… he wasn’t just magically dropped into FOrmula 1 because of his background or family’s money like Stroll or Latifi were…

      1. @nickthegreek Stroll actually won italian F4 and F3 and never competed in F2, so there’s that.

        1. @alfa145

          Except Stroll Sr. reportedly spent almost $50m in junior racing to get Stroll jr on the best teams and best coaches, private jets, private tack time…..etc. To the point that Stroll Sr. even invested in Prema Racing as part owner to help Lance get a seat in one of their best cars. Granted he did win the championships but back then it was considered paramount to get that Prema seat to do well in F3. (FYI: He’s now looking to sell those shares in Prema).
          Lance did drive well enough to get the job but he was given an incredible advantage that no other kid was given.
          It can be said that Lance would not have advanced that quickly and get to where he is now without all that family money. So @nickthegreek post above is valid.
          I do think Schumacher is much better than what some here have said, I don’t think many watched the F2 racing last year to know enough.

          1. Mick Schumacher is actually one of the worst possible examples in response to that argument. You probably have no idea how much was spent to let him test again and again until he got speed. And more to that, how much was done to turn around his season in F2 when he went straight from being top 10 material to being a podium regular in a matter of weeks.
            I’ve talked to people who where around in both occasions. They told clearly you stand no chance when trucks after trucks of new sets of tires keep coming and you can test for days with tires that are 10 laps old in the worst case.
            Still, I’m not expressing any opinion on this, as I actually rate Mick Schumacher a good driver. A “turned into” good driver, rather than “innate”, but still. And I didn’t express any opinion on Stroll, just that he won those championships when given the opportunity to.

  11. Mazepin seems to be very comfortable being openly critical of his teammate, a lot more than Mick, who got shut down by his team in Baku on the radio, and had rarely had a bad word to say about Nikita publicly. Good that he’s not retaliating, it will only make him mentally stronger.

    1. Are you for real?
      Why does this article exist if not because of what Mick said.

      1. Ralf, not Mick

        Reply moderated
    2. I suspect all F1 drivers have a clause in their contract that allows the team to fine the driver if they make unauthorised statements to the media. Nikita’s comments were made at an FIA press conference, and I’m guessing what he said can’t be considered an unauthorised comment because he spoke in a manner that was supportive of the team, so he won’t get fined. I don’t know if anyone asked Mick about that incident, but my guess is if he was asked at an FIA media conference then he too would have answered in such a way so as to avoid being fined as well.

  12. Did this bellend just call himself a bollard?

  13. It’s beginning to look like, in fact it’s now obvious, that Steiner’s strategy from the start was to put two aggressive rookies on the track and see which, if either, could “Drive to Survive” to the end of the season. Then the one that does gets to keep his seat while a veteran is brought in to develop the ’22 car. Clearly these two guys aren’t going to get the job done alone. Heck, they can barely finish both qualifying and a race, even in the slowest car and starting from the back of the grid. It’s like I said when they were signed, it’s about their entertainment value, not their racing ability, and anyone not getting their nickel’s worth doesn’t get the point. Up to a point, I say the more hands-off, the better. Thank you Guenther for given the circumstances, making and having made the best contribution to F1 that you can.

    Reply moderated
  14. He won the worst year in F2/GP2 history, quality wise, barely beating Mazepin whose resume everyone is disregarding as terrible. He is a worthy entrant but let’s not pretend the title made him a lock for an f1 seat. Ask De Vries, Leimer or Valsecchi. If not for his name he would have a hard time getting in. All of them are paper thin, Tsunoda, Mick, Mazepin… Illot might have a shot at doing something, maybe. Hubert would’ve been ROTY in F2 instead of Mick, for example.

    1. someone or something
      9th September 2021, 23:29

      barely beating Mazepin

      You might want to have a look at the most basic facts (see here for a compilation). Because right now, you’re spreading alternative facts.

      1. Totally agree,

        Mick won the F2 Championships, Ilott was second, Tsunoda was 3rd 35 points behind. Mazespin finished 5th over 50 points behind Mick. The points spread would have been much higher but in the last few races Schu took the conservative route to protect the championship lead and gave up positions to safely finish the races.

        Aleksandar is talking in anger and not with facts or merits.

        1. someone or something
          10th September 2021, 10:19

          I’m not talking about F2 at all.
          I’m comparing their performance at Haas so far. Spoiler: Schumacher comes out ahead so clearly, it’s not even funny anymore. The fact that Mazepin was able to defend aggressively against his team mate (by virtue of being ahead on the track) was an anomaly.

  15. Mick has made mistakes this year and hasn’t been flawless, but overall has performed well considering he’s a rookie driving the worse car on the grid. He also has constently been half a second faster (if not more) ahead of Mazepin in most sessions. To me, Mazepin’s driving antics and responses to media shows me he’s a very desperate man! I’ll give Mazepin credit though, he has taken advantage of Mick at starts which is why Mick finds himself in these situations.

    1. Mazepin has improved more though

  16. What has Mazepin ever won, other than the lottery of being a billionaire’s son?

  17. It’ll never happen, but imagine Mazepin and Dan Ticktum in a team together, it’d be the most hated duo in F1 history!

    1. Why not? The Bozo Bumper Car Team.

  18. I’ve not missed an F1 race for 20yrs & i don’t like what i’m seeing from Mazepin. There’s a difference between taking risks & recklessness.

  19. If we had a Russian team on the grid, this would be their livery and not Haas’.

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