Sport Mazepin gives rating for his F1 performance so far
Steiner braced for more Mick/Mazepin incidents
Haas boss Guenther Steiner is preparing himself for more incidents between his two rookie drivers, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. © PA Images Nikita Mazepin Mick Schumacher PA The aftermath from their near-miss at the end of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where Schumacher accused Mazepin of trying to scare him into the wall with a late move, has spilled over into the next round in France. Schumacher is expecting a harsher punishment if Mazepin was to do the same again, but Mazepin has told his team-mate he will “never not block” and not to expect things to be easy against him.
Whether it is out of five, 10 or 100 is unclear, butwould rate the start of his F1 career as a “four”.
Mazepin arrived in Formula 1 with a reputation as a potential bad boy after some of his F2 adventures, and did nothing to avert that unwanted tag when condemned by the Haas team just days after signing for them for posting an offensive video on social media.
The reaction to the Moscow-born driver in the paddock has not been too severe so far, but he has got under the skin of some of his rivals with a variety of questionable on-track moves – none more so, Mick Schumacher, in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Mazepin wants to see Hamilton qualifying criticism
Nikita Mazepin has called for other drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez to be criticised for their driving antics during qualifying. © Getty Images Lewis Hamilton Nikita Mazepin PA The Russian driver has been at the centre of a lot of criticism ever since he was first announced as a Haas driver for the 2021 season. One of the complaints levelled at him by his fellow drivers on numerous occasions is that, in qualifying, he breaks the “gentleman’s agreement” in where you do not overtake the car in front on your out-lap as you prepare for your push attempt.
The weekend in Baku still resulted in Mazepin’s highest F1 placing so far, 14th position, despite being overtaken by Schumacher in a drag race along the main straight to the chequered flag.
The 22-year-old has now been asked to rate his own performance for the season so far, which he freely admits has improved considerably from a dreadful start when he spun out of the Bahrain Grand Prix after negotiating only three corners.
“If I had been asked after Bahrain, I would have given myself a very low score,” said Mazepin, whose father, Dmitry, is the main sponsor of theteam.
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“But after careful analysis of the past races, the reason for my quite bad results and turns in the first three races was the car itself. After that, I would probably have given myself a four.”
FP3: Gasly surprise leader, setback for Max and Red Bull
Max Verstappen crashed out of third practice ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as team-mate Sergio Perez topped the leaderboard for the second straight session.Gasly’s 1:42.251s was +0.344s ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, in a session that saw a marked increase in heat compared to Friday. A track temperature of 54°C was a six-degree increase from the day before – which contributed to leaving drivers around a second slower than their FP2 times.
Both Haas drivers came into this year knowing that due to a planned lack of development on the car, with next year the main focus, and their own inexperience, they would be racing at the back of the field throughout the campaign.
Mazepin says he learned to cope with disappointments in 2019, his first year of F2, before upgrading his results significantly the following season when he joined the Hitech team.
“Before the 2019 season, I was just mentally unprepared for the likely lack of results,” said Mazepin, quoted by. “You always want to show up and make it work. But unfortunately, in racing and other areas of life, you don’t always get the level of results you want.
“This year, of course, it hasn’t been easy. The pressure in F1 is incomparable to any other series. But I think I am reacting to it correctly and with dignity.”
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Qualy: Crashes galore as Leclerc takes stunning pole .
Charles Leclerc has taken pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after a scintillating qualifying session in Baku on Saturday. © Getty Images Charles Leclerc Ferrari PA A dramatic Q3 session ended in remarkable fashion after Yuki Tsunoda and Carlos Sainz crashed out at Turn 3, with Lewis Hamilton recovering brilliantly from dismal practice sessions to take P2. Max Verstappen will line up P3, just 0.002s faster than a fantastic lap from Pierre Gasly to take P4.