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"He can't expect to have it too easy," says Mazepin of teammate Schumacher

NEWS STORY
17/06/2021

Despite a 'clear the air' meeting, Haas drivers, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin still appear to be singing from entirely differently hymn sheets.

In the aftermath of a last lap incident in Baku which had Mick Schumacher asking if his teammate was trying to kill him, Haas team boss, Guenther Steiner quickly arranged a 'clear the air' get together in a bid to keep a lid on things.

After all, on the one hand he has the talented son of arguably one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport, while on the other he has the son of the billionaire sponsor of the team.

Speaking at Paul Ricard today, Schumacher, who has previously expressed concern at the erratic actions of his teammate, was asked if the 'clear the air' meeting had done the trick.

"Obviously you have to race with him," said the German. "I think trust is built and it, for sure, can be built again.

"Obviously right now, I don't really know what to expect in one vs one," he admitted, "but at the end as well, I'm sure that after the talks we had with the team, everything should be in order to build up onto that trust again.

"In the moment it was rather confusing, in a way," he said of the last lap incident, "because I was not expecting it at all, especially between teams mates.

"Obviously I understand it's a last lap, we all fight, but if you come in such a tow, you have all that's left in terms of battery and then you use everything and there's no stopping you, the only way you stop somebody is by scaring them or pushing them into the wall and obviously he tried to do that.

"I, in fairness, kept my foot down, so I got by him anyways, but still I think that it was unexpected from my side and I think that's why I had such a strong reaction to it afterwards."

"There was no incident," insisted Mazepin. "Both cars returned to the pits with front wings and the paint job was as polished as it was just before the race so I would like to look at that in a pretty positive way.

"I think we've had a bit of a misunderstanding between us," he continued. "I thought he would choose the inside line and then he chose the outside line, and when I saw that he committed to it, I backed out of it, because in the end, we're not fighting for any points and the team's result is the priority for me.

"So I think we have a positive vibe, if I can call it like this in the team. It has been like that since day one and it continues to be so.

"Obviously it was both young drivers pushing the limits, so you get to a point like this. But like I said in the beginning, as long as both cars are returned in one piece, I feel that's fine."

Asked about Steiner's claim that he had apologised for the incident, Mazepin was keen to make clear that the apology referred to Schumacher's interpretation of the incident and not the incident itself.

"I apologised to him if that's how he felt," said the Russian. "And he clearly was very upset. But I would just say that it's very important that he doesn't expect to have it too easy... I'm never going to not block or whatever reason. But I just clearly didn't expect him to be where he ended up being and if he felt the way he did, I said sorry, because that's what I think I should be doing. But it wasn't for my particular doing."

It will be interesting to see how that logic goes down with the Russian armed services should Mazepin graduate as an officer in its reserve. "I'm sorry you felt I was trying to hurt you when my tank fired on your house... though I am not actually sorry for unleashing hell on you."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Paul Ricard, here.

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1. Posted by Forza Minardi, 17/06/2021 20:20

"'But I just clearly didn't expect him to be where he ended up being and if he felt the way he did, I said sorry, because that's what I think I should be doing. But it wasn't for my particular doing.' And that, Nikita, just about sums up your rotten attitude. Schumacher Jr, meanwhile, continues to impress."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Wokingchap, 17/06/2021 18:20

"As someone else so very wisely put it, "there are rookies who make mistakes and there are rookies who shouldn't even be in F1"."

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