Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Sochi Autodrom, 2021

Tyre warm-up problems behind Mazepin’s four-second deficit to Schumacher

2021 Russian Grand Prix

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Nikita Mazepin explained how he ended up almost four seconds slower than his team mate in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.

Both Haas drivers were eliminated in the first round of qualifying but Mazepin lagged 3.934 seconds shy of Mick Schumacher.

Mazepin said it took more laps to warm up the intermediate tyres in wet conditions at Sochi than when the drivers previously ran in the rain at Spa-Francorchamps. He said the Haas drivers ran different strategies, leaving him with less time to get his final set of tyres up to the correct temperature.

“We did different strategies because we weren’t sure quite how Sochi will work with the tyres, which were intermediates,” he said. “Obviously in Spa the tyres worked if you put them only for two laps and here they worked for five laps.

“Fortunately I showed very good pace for our car midway through the session once the tyres started working. But in the end I only had two laps and I couldn’t switch the tyres on.

“So in the end we could have been one or two positions up, which would have not changed a whole lot but at least that gave us the options to go different inside the team.”

Mazepin’s first effort on intermediates was a 2’02.416. He improved on his next three laps, lowering his time to a 1’54.181. He then pitted for fresh tyres and did two further laps, ending up on a 1’53.764.

Schumacher did the opposite. He ran two laps at the beginning of the session, of which his first was his quickest, then pitted. His first lap out of the pits on fresh intermediates was a 1’52.116. He improved on the next lap and again on his final run, setting a best of 1’49.830.

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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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6 comments on “Tyre warm-up problems behind Mazepin’s four-second deficit to Schumacher”

  1. Maybe Nikita’s former chassis with its extra weight would have helped him putting energy into the tyres?

    😜

  2. Damn. Just fee, gutted for MAZ. Had he been given the opportunity to switch his tyres on, he would have only been 2 seconds behind MSC.

  3. I really wish this guy would give up and realize he should do something else.

  4. His tires didn’t come on .. eh . Good god. Why are you wasting Dad’s money bro ?

    Reply moderated
  5. It’s not as if getting your tires and brakes into optimal temperature is a basic requirement of being a complete F1 driver, right?

    Reply moderated
  6. Haas’ livery design should have been given a forced change before the season even started.

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