The Russian abruptly moved his car to the right, where the 2020 F2 champion was coming through, causing the German to react angrily on team radio
By Yuri Coghe
Nikita Mazepin has been collecting criticism from plenty of drivers in his first six F1 races, with his own teammate Mick Schumacher joining the list at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Russian rookie was overtaken by the 2020 F2 champion on the last lap of the race, abruptly moving his Haas to the right side, where the German was coming through. “What the f*** was that, honestly? Seriously, does he want to kill us?,” an angry Schumacher immediately reacted on team radio.
Watch the moment below:
While Schumacher himself issued no further words on the matter after the race, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the two drivers have moved on from the situation.
“Obviously there was a situation on the straight,” said Steiner in a press release. “That was all resolved and we’ve cleared the air. There was some misunderstanding, but we are fine and all moving on from it.”
Mazepin said he was “just a little bit upset about losing my position to my teammate on the main straight” in the same press release, further explaining his actions to Russian website sports.ru.
“Usually, when overtaking an opponent, drivers choose an internal trajectory – it is the most profitable when braking,” Mazepin said. “Of course, I started late in the blocking maneuver, but that’s what everyone does. And I had no idea that Mick (Schumacher) would want to stay on the outside trajectory. When I saw him in the mirrors, I immediately returned to the old trajectory, because if I continued the maneuver, we would probably collide.”
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Something to celebrate
Despite the late drama, both Haas drivers achieved a season-high finish in Baku, with Schumacher crossing the finish line 13th – a position ahead of Mazepin. The results meant the American team now appears ahead of Williams in the standings despite both of them having no points, with the higher finishing position acting as the tiebreaker.
“Obviously it was an exciting race today, on one way or another, or even in all ways,” said Steiner. “In the end, we had our best result of the year, which I’m very happy about for everybody. For where we are at the moment it’s very difficult to get this result. Everybody worked really hard and just due to that – it happened.”
Schumacher also celebrated the best race of the season for Haas so far.
“It was definitely not easy but we were close to the points and these are the kind of races that we have to use to our advantage and stay in the race,” said Schumacher. “We managed to do that, we were fighting and you see a little light at the end of the tunnel.”