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Monaco GP: Practice team notes - Haas

NEWS STORY
20/05/2021

The fifth round of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship began with practice on Thursday at Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo as teams prepared for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

Thursday's track running consisted of two 60-minute sessions - FP1 and FP2 - on the 3.337-kilometer (2.074-mile), 19-turn circuit.

FP1 saw both VF-21:s take to the streets of Monte Carlo running the Pirelli P Zero Red soft rubber exclusively in the session. Their early wake-up runs netted Schumacher a fastest lap of 1:16.668 with Mazepin logging a 1:16.393. A return to the garage for a second set of brand-new softs was followed by additional baseline running - mileage in Monaco crucial to get both rookies up to speed. As grip continued to improve Mazepin subsequently set his best lap with a 1:14.616 - good for 17th overall, while a 1:14.801 from Schumacher placed the German 18th on the timesheet. A short final stint on high-fuel took both cars to the checkered flag.

A baseline outing on the Yellow medium tires started the FP2 run plan on both sides of the garage before Mazepin and Schumacher switched to the soft rubber for qualifying sims. A 1:14.407 effort from Mazepin netted 18th while Schumacher was one spot back in 19th with a fastest lap of 1:14.416. High-fuel runs were to follow but the session was ultimately red flagged in the final minutes after Schumacher contacted the barrier at Massenet on the run to Casino Square. With suspension damage and a right rear puncture, Schumacher was forced to park his VF-21 bringing Thursday's activities to an early close.

Uralkali Haas F1 Team ran a total of 119 laps on Friday across FP1 and FP2 - 59 by Mazepin and 60 by Schumacher.

Nikita Mazepin: "Monaco is just unbelievable to be at, regardless if you're driving or not - it's just something else. It was a very good day today for us. The team has done a fantastic job to come away from a difficult weekend in Barcelona. I had the necessary confidence in the car today that I needed. Surprising to say given the season so-far, but I had so much fun in the car, it actually felt like it was a day off - it was just cool to drive. Looking ahead, there's much less room to let cars by here, and we're under no illusion about being lapped at this race with our current pace. But for today, all was good."

Mick Schumacher: "I think in general the day went very well - I felt I got comfortable in the car. Obviously, we know what we have to improve, those areas where we know we lost a bit of time. One of the big things here in Monaco is how much traffic you'll encounter on a lap. Unfortunately, we got some on our laps today, but I think in general it's the same for everyone else. On our last run in FP2 we had a small issue but even that I think is just part of the deal in Monaco. There's no room for mistakes, I made a small mistake, and that's what happened. Now I know the limit and how far I can go. I do feel we're making progress as a team. Here in Monaco we'll just keep doing our jobs, go through our routines, and keep on working to be as prepared as we can for qualifying."

Guenther Steiner: "Not a bad day, actually, quite a good day for us. If you look at the times, it doesn't look like it, but we got a lot of running in and the plan worked - with the exception of the little mishap for Mick (Schumacher) at the end of FP2. The guys just worked hard and improved lap by lap. That's what we asked them to do and I think both guys did a good job. Nikita (Mazepin) was happy with his day, it's built up his confidence a little bit. With Mick, it just seemed like he got a bit close to Checo (Perez) and lost a little bit of downforce and just had a quick oversteer which he couldn't recover from. The car is not too badly damaged. We will be ready for Saturday."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Monaco, here.

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