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Portugal GP: Qualifying team notes - Haas

NEWS STORY
01/05/2021

Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin qualified 19th and 20th, respectively, for Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix, Round 3 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal.

Both drivers exited qualifying at the end of the opening Q1 knockout round - with only the top 15 advancing to Q2. Mazepin and Schumacher had two timed stints utilizing a new set of Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires for each run. Mazepin clocked a 1:21.941 first time out, bettered by a 1:21.580 next time by only to have the faster lap deleted for exceeding track limits at turn one. Regardless, with his second set of softs on Mazepin dropped his best time to a 1:20.912 to place 20th. Schumacher ended qualifying just ahead of his teammate having banked a 1:20.842 on his first outing before improving again on fresh rubber to lap the 4.653-kilometer (2.891-mile) circuit in 1:20.452.

Nikita Mazepin: "I felt like yesterday was a very difficult day for me as I just wasn't very comfortable with the track or with the car. We then made small steps in the right direction this morning - which I like to see, they're the ones that build foundation. Obviously, the wind has picked up here, which was something I didn't want to happen as no driver likes wind as it makes the car balance very unpredictable, but the grip has improved since yesterday naturally with all the laps being put down. Overall, the car was feeling much better and I think that's a good place to be - we were quite close to getting the maximum out of it."

Mick Schumacher: "Looking at all the free practices I think we were set for higher, but I think some of the other guys and teams managed to make a step ahead with their second set and frankly we didn't. It could be anything on this track - you get the wrong gust of wind at the wrong moment; you lose half a second in the first sector. I think in general we can be happy, we're still making consistent steps forward with each race weekend. There's a big improvement in ourselves and we should be happy with that. I'm feeling more comfortable in the car with every hour and every day, and that makes it easier for me to jump into the car straight away and be on the pace. That's something that's very positive and I'm grateful for the team for teaching me the necessaries to do that."

Guenther Steiner: "We had a good FP3, everything was going in the right direction. In qualifying we were a little bit short of not finishing 19th and 20th. I think we're making progress and getting closer and closer; it just takes a little bit more and we'll make it not to be last. It's encouraging how the guys learn and hopefully tomorrow we make another step on that learning curve and finish the race with both cars. That is our aim."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Portimao, here.

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