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Austrian GP: Practice team notes - Haas

NEWS STORY
02/07/2021

The ninth round of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship began with practice on Friday at the Red Bull Ring as teams prepared for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix.

Friday's track action consisted of two 60-minute sessions - FP1 and FP2 - on the 4.318-kilometer (2.683-mile), 10-turn circuit - conditions cooler than the previous weekend with Friday mostly cloudy overhead.

Mazepin and Schumacher started FP1 sampling the Pirelli prototype rear tires on the VF-21 - the tires being trialed in free practice to evaluate their effectiveness in improving compound robustness. Each driver ran a 10-lap stint on the prototypes before switching onto the current P Zero Yellow medium tires for a baseline 8-lap outing. The opening session wrapped for the Haas pairing with runs on the softer Red rubber - producing the fastest laps of the morning. Schumacher posted a 1:06.583 for 17th with Mazepin clocking a 1:07.316 for 20th overall.

Both cars shared an identical run-plan to start FP2 with a baseline outing on the medium rubber followed by qualifying simulations on the soft tires. A 1:05.911 was Schumacher's fastest time of the session, earning the German 18th on the timesheets. Mazepin produced a best effort of 1:06.173 placing the Russian 20th on the timesheet. High-fuel runs with pit-stops concluded Friday's scheduled activities.

Uralkali Haas F1 Team ran a total of 129 laps on Friday across FP1 and FP2 - 65 by Mazepin and 64 by Schumacher.

Nikita Mazepin: "This car has a difficult aero package - one of the most difficult I've driven. Coming from junior formulas, more aero balance means more oversteer, but in F1 it definitely doesn't mean that, with things like the different way the tires work during the lap and all sorts of things that affect the warm-up. It's quite extreme and not very straightforward I'd say. But we're using these Friday practices to experiment with the set-up, and then try and divert both cars into something that could potentially give us a good gain. Free practice time has been reduced from last year, we're just trying things - so, tomorrow should be more equal and finalized let's say."

Mick Schumacher: "Today's running was quite different - we saw lap times dropping quite quickly compared to last week. I think we're a bit faster compared to last week and I think that's just because you know where to put the car. In general, it was interesting, especially in the long runs as that's probably the weather we'll find in the race. We collected good data and now it's about analyzing and seeing what we can do better for the race on Sunday."

Guenther Steiner: "Well, we got in 129 laps today, so it was a good day with no issues. As always, we were just trying to get the best out of what we've got for this weekend. Obviously, we've got some data from last weekend, so we didn't start off unprepared - we've just been trying different things and then we also tried the new prototype tire for Pirelli. Overall, it hasn't been a bad day."

Check out our Friday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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