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Italian GP: Sprint team notes - Haas

NEWS STORY
11/09/2021

Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher finished the second-ever 100km Sprint qualifying event in 17th and 19th respectively ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. With Saturday's Sprint winner Valtteri Bottas taking an engine penalty in his Mercedes for Sunday's 53-lap race, Mazepin and Schumacher will start 16th and 18th on the grid.

Schumacher and Mazepin started the Sprint in 18th and 20th following Friday's traditional knockout qualifying session. A frantic opening lap and an early Safety Car period meant that at the restart Schumacher sat 15th with Mazepin directly behind in 16th - both VF21s running the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires. The Russian subsequently passed his German teammate on lap 4 to take 15th before the race began to settle down. Having later ceded positions to Russell (Williams) and Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Mazepin successfully held on to 17th ahead of Kubica (Alfa Romeo) at the checkered flag. Schumacher raced in 18th before he lost out to Kubica in the final laps to finish 19th.

Friday's fastest qualifier Bottas maintained his speed to win the Sprint, and three world championship points, but his pre-determined engine penalty means the Finn will start Sunday's race from the back of the grid. Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen will be the beneficiary of Bottas' misfortune, the Dutch racer finishing second in the Sprint to claim two more valuable points to add to his title campaign. Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren finished third to take the final point on offer in the Sprint.

Nikita Mazepin: "I think we maximized our package today. I think our team could be in front of one of the Alfas if we do everything correct and we did. It looked like quite a hectic race from the beginning - loads of spins ahead and some dust - so it made for an exciting race for fans. From my side, I think we can still improve our balance because after one free practice yesterday and one free practice today, we haven't maximized it yet, but we're making the right steps in the right direction and that's good."

Mick Schumacher: "The pace was where we were imagining it to be. Following here seems to be very difficult - the tires overheat straight away, we slide and essentially we fell back a bit. Tomorrow is a new race, a longer race and with strategy you might be able to do something. Normally my starts are pretty good, I usually find the right way around."

Guenther Steiner: "It's the second time we've completed a Sprint qualifying. We started the day with a good morning session with FP2. We went through all our tire work to find out which tires to use and when. The Sprint in the afternoon, at least where we are, it was quite interesting. Everything went well and we picked up a few spots for tomorrow - that's the only thing we can do. In the end, we had a good day."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Monza, here.

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