Nikita Mazepin, Haas, Circuit of the Americas, 2021

Mazepin endured problems with helmet, headrest and ‘burning feet’

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In the round-up: Nikita Mazepin explained a series of problems he suffered during the United States Grand Prix weekend.

In brief

Mazepin plagued from head to toe during US Grand Prix

Nikita Mazepin suffered a particularly luckless weekend at the Circuit of the Americas. The problems began during Friday practice, when he had to pit due to a problem with his new helmet.

“I did a special edition Austin helmet,” Mazepin explained, “and I’ve been struggling a lot with Bell helmets this year, the visor. Sometimes you get a bad visor and then it has a hole in there in it, or like a small hole where the air goes in.

“So at 330kph, it does keep your right eye open, which is not ideal because it starts crying and watering, so I was just upset about that.”

The tears didn’t stop there, however. During the race he reported severe heat in the footwell of his Haas, something he previously experienced during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“I’m also crying inside the car with how feet are burning,” he told his team on the radio. “It’s like they’re standing on something very hot. We’ll need to investigate.”

He had already been forced into the pits on the first lap when his headrest detached. Race engineer Ayao Komatsu apologised for that problem when Mazepin returned to the pits having finished the race two laps down in 17th and last position.

Alpine’s poor race was a surprise – Ocon

Alpine improved their car in practice but fell back in the race
Esteban Ocon said Alpine did not expect as hard a race as they had in Austin after improving their car during practice.

“We didn’t expect to to struggle, obviously, as much as that,” said the Alpine driver, who retired from the race with an unidentified technical problem.

“We had to fight the car quite hard through practice. But we did good improvements all the way through every session. Qualifying was not as good as what we hoped but we improved it a lot from FP1.

“And in the race a big, big struggle again. So we need to analyse and come back stronger from it.”

Ocon drew some consolation from his view that few other venues offer a similar challenger to COTA. “It’s a track on it’s own, I would say. The track is very rough in comparison to other places. It’s quite bumpy. So there’s many aspects that we will look into.”

Chadwick: second W Series win born from pressure of title defence

Jamie Chadwick secured her second W Series title at COTA, beating rival Alice Powell by 159 points to Powell’s 132 in the final race.

She said that the expectation of defending the 2019 title had pushed her to improve her racing. “I think there was pressure coming in,” she said.

“I definitely came in with the expectation, from myself but from other people as well, to be in the best position to challenge for the title again so of course there was pressure. But I felt positive, with that.

“I had the confidence from the year before and also just the feeling that this year was going to be an even more important year, so to relish the opportunity even more. I think every race, there is always a bit of expectation there but I think it kind of helped me raise my standards and I think that, combined with the fact that Alice pushed me so hard put the pressure on.”

Despite back-to-back titles – and a stint in off-road electric series Extreme E – Chadwick said her future was uncertain, currently.

“I don’t know at the moment,” she said, on what she would move on to. “The opportunity W Series gives us all – but particularly for me, as a double champion, I think is huge. So I’m going to relish that, take it in as much as I can and hopefully step forward into bigger things.”

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Comment of the day

Although sides have been drawn plenty of times, Bernasaurus says that the 2021 title battle is as wonderfully balanced as perfectly set up F1 machinery:

Max and Lewis really are in their own league though. We talk about suspension tricks, weather, graining, ICE’s and penalties, collisions etc. But the reality is Checo and Valterri have been nowhere near them this season other than the occasional spark.

I’m not sure if Max or Lewis will win it, nobody is, that’s the beauty of it. I’m not sure which is the quicker car if you aggregate it over the season. Both cars have their merits.

Whichever of the two of them loses, shouldn’t despair on it, they’re both performing incredibly. And I know it’s a cliche, but ‘neither of them deserve to lose’.

But someone has to win.

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On this day in motorsport

  • 35 years ago today championship leader Nigel Mansell claimed pole position for the season finale at Adelaide in Australia

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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12 comments on “Mazepin endured problems with helmet, headrest and ‘burning feet’”

  1. someone or something
    25th October 2021, 2:43

    I guess Mazepin gets a pass on this one. He was terrible even for his extremely low standard, so it’s plausible that there were factors outside of his control dragging him down.

    1. TOP TIP: Test your equipment BEFORE the event.

  2. I initially assumed he got front wing damage because of pitting from lap one, but not after all.
    Ocon & Latifi pitting slightly later than on lap one despite front wing damage was surprising, though.

    A good COTD: I share the same sentiment in principle.

  3. What’s a tweet asking for celebrity interviews doing on a site like this?

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      25th October 2021, 8:28

      I complained at the time that it always seems to be a waste of time having celebs on the gird. Many of them try to sound interested, but also sound clueless and are a waste of footage. But it is very poor on their part if they refuse to speak to the media, despite me thinking it would be better if the media never spoke to them. (or better, the celebs didn’t have the level of access on the grid that they do)

      1. I could agree that ‘it is very poor on their part if they refuse to speak to the media’, but that would confuse me with somebody who cares.

        I do care though that this becomes again a round-up of the most important F1/motoring/racing news of the past 24 hours.
        Including tweets like the above does not achieve that IMO.

      2. I agree, but like yesterday the celeb was a ‘guest’ of RB, so any outside interviews should be requested. And given the amount of media dross they have packing the grid how is the guest supposed to know who the go to interviewer is? Saying that the incident has flooded social media and made it to the national news headlines. So all good publicity for F1.
        Although I much prefer the media, celeb, VIP free grids we have enjoyed over the last season and a half.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          25th October 2021, 10:04

          I think this is probably one of the best examples of what many celebs think of the sport :D

  4. The problem with the W series is that the winner is still going to have to go through F3 or F2 and prove themselves against the men.

    They’ve been given an artificial leg up but its really not ammounted to much.

  5. Lewisham Milton
    25th October 2021, 11:07

    Headrest encounters problem with Mazepin.

  6. Re: COTD
    I’ve been asking myself all season who I would like to win it this year. And it’s a difficult question. We can all say that Lewis had the car all these years, but he is the one driver most deserving of all his records. And getting an 8th title would really crown all his achievements.
    On the other hand we can all see Max’s talent, and I hope he manages to win a few titles. I just hope his ego doesn’t grow out of proportions. Though that usually happens when you win the WDC (see Fernando, Lewis, Seb and Nico).

  7. Very unfair to Nico. I always found him the most intelligent and modest champion… As a fan of Alonso I agree but he must hype himself to stay relevant.

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