Uralkali Haas F1 Team driver Mick Schumacher classified 13th while Nikita Mazepin was forced to retire at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Round 11 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship – held at the Hungaroring.
Schumacher took the start on Pirelli Cinturato Green intermediate tires following a pre-race shower and rose 10 positions to 10th place following a chaotic first corner in which two separate collisions shook up the order and eliminated five drivers. The race was halted due to the quantity of debris.
Schumacher exchanged his intermediates for mediums due to the drying nature of the track and took the restart from the pit lane, along with all bar Lewis Hamilton. Schumacher held a spot inside the top 10, keeping some established front-runners at bay, before coming in on lap 35 of 70 to take on a set of hard rubber. Schumacher preserved those tires through to the checkered flag, maintaining his 100 percent finishing record in Formula 1, taking 13th.
Mazepin also started on intermediates and gained five spots on the opening lap, despite sustaining a puncture amid the chaos. Mazepin was set to take the restart from 14th position but boxed to take on slicks – where he was ultimately side-swiped by Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen in the pit lane. Mazepin's left-front sustained terminal suspension damage and he was forced into an immediate retirement. Stewards deemed Alfa Romeo culpable and issued a 10-second time penalty for Raikkonen.
Uralkali Haas F1 Team will embark on a summer recess, which includes a mandatory 14-day shutdown period, prior to resuming its 2021 campaign at the Belgian Grand Prix. That will be held at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps from August 27 to 29.
Nikita Mazepin: "That's one race I really wanted to be in. Not only for me, but this race offers lots of opportunities and my team really needs those opportunities. I saw the carnage in T1 and thought this is our day, and then I drove over debris and the team informed me I had a left-front puncture, I boxed and lost my track position and then boxed again and you saw what happened. That's seriously not the way I wanted to go into the summer break because you want to give it your all and at least leave this weekend tired, with a sore body and sore neck. It's a lack of laps and a lack of result, it's very annoying. I'm sure this is just one of those day that is just rewarded later on."
Mick Schumacher: "Finishing in front of an Alfa is something that we weren't anticipating and starting from last and finishing P13 is quite a decent result for us. We were keen on having a point but frankly we don't have the car at the moment to do so but nonetheless this was great experience as I've been able to battle with the top guys and the championship leader. For me personally, from a growth point of view, it was very good. We always knew it was going to be tough but today was a very nice day and after having a disappointing day yesterday, we came back on a high. Ending this first half of the season on a high is very positive for everybody - the team and myself - and being able to battle with the top guys brought me so much experience and knowing that I can throw out my elbows, I'm glad I got that opportunity."
Guenther Steiner: "A tough day for us today. It started promising, with all the mayhem that happened, we always had some hope. We were taken out for no reason by an Alfa Romeo which Nikita couldn't do anything about - he just got taken out in a bad way. The good thing was to see Mick fighting for whatever was there and holding Giovinazzi behind, that was pretty good. For sure, it's a good lesson for him next year to fight with somebody - even if the car is faster - he kept him behind. It was still frustrating because other people scored points and we didn't and at some stage it looked like we would as well."