Mazepin won’t ‘tolerate’ Schumacher’s ‘cheeky’ antics

Michelle Foster
Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher. Silverstone July 2021

Nikita Mazepin speaking with Mick Schumacher as the two Haas rookies stand on the grid. Silverstone July 2021

Nikita Mazepin has doubled down on his criticism of Mick Schumacher, saying he won’t “tolerate” his Haas team-mate’s behaviour.

Throughout this season there have been whispers in the paddock that Mazepin and Schumacher don’t particularly like one another.

That came to the fore at the Dutch Grand Prix on Saturday when Mazepin blasted his team-mate for passing him during qualifying, wrecking his lap and also Sebastian Vettel’s.

But while the stewards cleared both drivers of any wrongdoing in qualifying, thanks largely to Vettel defending them, Mazepin is still fuming at his team-mate.

He told F1-Insider: “I don’t like people who are cheeky and who show their true nature in the battle for 19th place.

“As long as I drive in Formula 1, I won’t tolerate that.

“When I overtook him in Imola in qualifying, he howled that it wasn’t possible. After that there was a clarification that we would hold the positions.

“Nevertheless, he already overtook me in Spielberg and now again.”

And it is not just his team-mate who earned his ire, the Russian driver also not impressed with Haas’ handling of the situation.

He added: “We have to find rules that everyone adheres to – not only if we want to, but because we have to.”

“When I saw that he wanted to overtake me, I asked on the radio what that was about. The answer: we’ll talk about it later. I wasn’t aware that the team gave him the go-ahead.”

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Team boss Guenther Steiner now faces the unenviable task of bring his Haas rookies back into line.

He, at least with the media, is portraying a neutral front.

“There is no right or wrong,” he said. “Everyone wants to prove that they are better than the other. That’s because both of them are rookies.

“This does not appear that way with experienced drivers. We have to work on it and raise the fight to an acceptable level.

“There is no magical solution. The dissatisfaction comes from the fact that we are only fighting against each other at the end of the field.

“I am not working in the interests of a sponsor or a partner, but in the interests of the team. And the goal is always to be fair and to get the most out of the car.”