With Mick Schumacher nursing an engine issue, Haas ordered him to yield to his team-mate Nikita Mazepin during the Monaco GP.
This was by far Mazepin’s strongest Formula 1 weekend, making himself a real threat to Schumacher for the first time.
Come race day though, Schumacher had an unfortunate period of engine gremlins, at which point Haas decided they needed to get Mazepin ahead.
Schumacher obliged, with Mazepin stating the good relationship between them at Haas was on full display in that moment.
“That’s how it happens sometimes in life,” he said, quoted by Motorsport-Magazin.
“We have a good relationship in the team and we should keep it that way.”
Schumacher had crashed heavily during FP3, meaning his VF-21 was not fit to partake in qualifying at Monaco, hailed as the most important Saturday of the season.
Risks needed to be taken then, and Schumacher did exactly that on the opening lap as he went down the inside of Mazepin at the hairpin.
So after the Russian had played ball with that move, it was only fair that Schumacher returned the respect with the swap of positions later on.
“I had to pull the clutch to avoid hitting the car in front of me. It just jammed, I had to keep still, and in the fight for 18th place it would have been too big a risk for both cars to crash out there. And I didn’t want to go back to the garage,” Mazepin recalled.
“I wanted a fair race and the race was long. I was fair on the first lap, he was very fair later.”
Mazepin would cross the line P17, one place ahead of Schumacher who was the last of the finishers at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix.
Haas remain in search of a first point in 2021 – the American-owned outfit are yet to finish a season on zero since joining the grid in 2016.