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Mazepin has no regrets

NEWS STORY
10/09/2021

Insisting that he hasn't broken any rules in his battles with teammate, Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin shows no signs of contrition following latest clash.

If ever a driver embodied the expression 'an accident waiting to happen', Nikita Mazepin is surely the one. While there have already been various clashes and accidents, having clearly not learned his lesson, there are fears that another, even bigger crash is on the cards.

Following their latest clash, at Zandvoort last week, team boss, Guenther Steiner brought the two drivers together to discuss the situation, but clearly lessons have not been learned.

Asked if the team is imposing a code of conduct in order to avoid further clashes, the Russian was adamant.

"They have not," he replied, "because we've deemed that I haven't broken any rules or violations within the FIA sporting and racing regulations.

"Therefore, I think we're going to work as a team to try and fix that," he added. "But perhaps you need to lift when you see that there is a bollard in front of you instead of damaging your car. But we will see.

"We are here as racing drivers," he continued, "and I think it's incorrect when drivers put them above the stewards and driver advisors and say what they should have done because it's not their position.

"At the same time, I respect the rules a lot and what the rules say in the book is that unless there's a significant portion of the car behind is side-by-side to you, you are not entitled to leave a car's width and you're entitled to make a move from the left to the right because you're still in front and you can make your position safely."

Last week's move, the latest in a long line of such tactics that the Russian employed long before he entered F1, was widely condemned by fellow drivers, and led to a 'talking to' from Steiner.

Asked what his team boss had said, Mazepin was giving little away.

"It's good to know that I'm not in the bad books. So, that's positive," he said. "But, I want to respect the privacy of those discussions, the doors were closed.

"I don't think it will be comfortable for all parties if it was an open discussion. So, I'll keep it in that."

No doubt Schumacher is counting the days until his seat alongside Valtteri Bottas at Alfa Romeo is confirmed.

Check out our Friday gallery from Monza, here.

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1. Posted by Pavlo, 10/09/2021 16:15

"I think he is wrong in two (both) points here:
1. "incorrect when drivers put them above the stewards" - stewards quite often leave team-intern clashes without reaction exactly because team can handle it and doesn't require additional punishment. Also because team will not raise a formal complain about own driver. The same move against another team would probably been penalized.
2. "unless there's a significant (!) portion of the car behind is side-by-side to you, you are not entitled to leave a car's width" - no, on the straight as soon as there is any (! insignificant) portion of another car side-by-side, you definitely must leave car's width. Even more - if there was a car width at a point/speed when driver behind has no possibility to move without breaking, you are definitely not allowed to close this gap.

Did anyone notice (because I didn't find it), what was a penalty for him for blocking Vettel in qualifying?"

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