Russian GP: Qualifying team notes - Haas


Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin qualified 17th and 19th, respectively, for Sunday's Russian Grand Prix, Round 15 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship at Sochi Autodrom - but the duo will start from 15th and 17th on the grid after Charles Leclerc (Scuderia Ferrari) and Nicholas Latifi (Williams), who qualified ahead, will take grid penalties and start from the rear along with Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) - who failed to set a time in Q1 as he too is exercising a grid penalty.

Torrential rain saw the cancellation of Saturday's final practice session, but more favorable weather above meant qualifying started at the scheduled time of 15:00 local time. Mazepin and Schumacher opted for slightly different strategies around the damp but slowly drying track in Q1. Mazepin ran deeper on his first set of Pirelli Cinturato Green intermediate tires but was limited to two timed runs on his second set when conditions were improving. The Russian set a best lap of 1:53.764 for 19th overall. Schumacher had more time to bed in his second set of inters, the German subsequently posting a 1:49.830 lap to secure 17th on the timesheet.

Nikita Mazepin: "Overall, the session was going good. I wasn't quite sure what we were going to do because I felt like the tires needed quite a lot of laps versus what I felt at Spa. I finally got the balance right, set the steering wheel settings right, got the temperatures in the window to get comfortable, did a decent lap and then we boxed. I was just really struggling out there. That one lap, I felt that the track wasn't quite dry enough to get the tires going but nevertheless the position isn't really that different to what it could have been, but it felt pretty tough to drive. We don't know what the weather's going to do but I think we're ready for dry and wet conditions, so we'll just have to see what's going to happen."

Mick Schumacher: "I was hoping for maybe a secret Q2 appearance, that would've been great. The lap felt ok - I think there were maybe a few mistakes - maybe two or three tenths in it, but that wouldn't have been enough to go to Q2, but at least we're close. A bit frustrated but very happy on the other side and I think we as a team did a great job. I love it, they're the best conditions honestly. You get thrown into the cold water and essentially if you're the fastest to find your way around the track, you will be the fastest on track. I've always enjoyed it, even in the past and hopefully we'll have some rain tomorrow."

Guenther Steiner: "It's actually good that in the end we got in qualifying today so we ran our program and tomorrow morning we can focus on the race. I think qualifying was quite - I wouldn't say difficult - it was somehow straightforward. We went out on inters, we just tried to do the best we could and tried to get the best out of it."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Sochi, here.

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Published: 25/09/2021
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