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Steiner opts to sit on the fence as 'driver war' continues

NEWS STORY
07/09/2021

Haas team boss, Guenther Steiner insists that neither driver is particularly to blame as Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin have another angry encounter.

When he wasn't causing problems for Sergio Perez on Sunday, Nikita Mazepin was focussed on the usual target of his aggressive approach to racing, teammate Mick Schumacher.

At the start of the second lap the Russian made one of his late, typically aggressive moves across the track as his teammate sought to pass him. Clipping his teammate's wheel the German incurred wing damage that necessitated an early pit stop.

In Azerbaijan, Mazepin made a similar move, but then again it seems to happen every weekend, that the Russian seeks to be on exactly the same piece of tarmac as his teammate.

Indeed, in qualifying, as the pair battled for track position, Sebastian Vettel was their hapless victim, the German failing to make the cut as a result.

"There was a little coming together with my teammate for some reason which I don't understand," Schumacher told Sky Sports on Sunday. "But you know I think that obviously, that's the way it is."

Asked if the obvious friction between the pair might be resolved, Schumacher admitted: "I don't think so, to be honest.

"It seems like he's got this thing in his head where he wants to, at any cost, be in front of me, and that's ok," he added.

"I have nothing against it," he continued, "but if we get to the point where we defend very aggressively against a teammate where you have nothing to gain is not the right approach.

"It doesn't justify the fact that he pushes me in the wall and pushes me to go into the pitlane. I think that's not the right way. We'll probably have to have a talk with the team about it."

However, a talk with the team will be of little benefit, for while Schumacher might have the name - not to mention the backing of Ferrari - Mazepin's father is clearly picking up the tab for son's exploits. Consequently, the American outfit is unlikely to want to upset he who pays the piper.

"We need to work on it, to be constructive," said Steiner. "We had a meeting after our engineering debrief about it. We haven't come to a conclusion.

"The plan is to meet before Monza and to see what we need to do to avoid this in future, because it doesn't help anybody," he admitted. "I tried to explain that one. And we will work on it. And will work on it until we get it sorted."

Asked if he too thought the move was dangerous, he replied: "I think you can always say it's dangerous.

"You can avoid danger. I don't think it was a nasty move, to be honest. I looked at this scenario and it takes always two to tango."

All of which is why Schumacher will no doubt jump ship to Alfa Romeo, leaving Mazepin to continue playing his little games at Haas.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by @R1Racing71, 07/09/2021 21:26

"@tardis a knuckle sandwich to Mazepin will result in the Russian equivalent of the horses head in the bed.
If you are lucky."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by C5, 07/09/2021 17:24

"I think we can translate Steiner's approach into a simple "I can see nothing for all the cash he's dumping into the team". It's as transparent as it is pathetic."

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Tardis40, 07/09/2021 12:57

"Maybe a knuckle sandwich would get the point across"

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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