Mazepin on verge of tears after latest Q1 exit

Henry Valantine
Nikita Mazepin, Haas, in the paddock. Brazil November 2021.

Nikita Mazepin arrives at Interlagos ahead of the weekend. Brazil November 2021.

Nikita Mazepin was left visibly emotional after making an error on his fastest lap in Q1, with pressure seemingly rearing its head on the Russian.

The Haas driver locked up heading into Turn 12 at Interlagos while on a flying run, seeing him lose time behind team-mate Mick Schumacher.

Mazepin had not driven a racing lap around the famous Brazilian circuit prior to the weekend, but that did not stop him from being angry at himself as he returned to the pits.

“What a f****** idiot I am,” was Mazepin’s frustrated radio message after making his mistake in Q1.

His self-critical mood did not improve afterwards, looking visibly irked as he entered the media pen to be interviewed.

“I was on a good lap and just made a mistake,” he said after being knocked out of qualifying, with his voice beginning to break up as he tried to hold back his emotions, appearing on Sky F1.

“It felt good, I think it was our day to actually be close to Williams and so a good qualy, but I just tried too hard.

“I think the guys did a really good job. I’ve never driven the sim here, and I f****** up.”

Schumacher will sit in front of Mazepin on the back row of the grid once again as 2021’s perennial backmarkers continue to lag behind their rivals, with their car having not been developed at all this year.

The young German also said that he had a good feeling behind the wheel of his car in qualifying, and said he was disappointed that he did not finish higher on Friday.

“The car feeling was amazing and that’s why I’m a bit gutted that we didn’t get through. I feel like we had the chance, but unfortunately we didn’t,” Schumacher told the official Formula 1 website after the session.

“I think it’s a case of everybody being so compressed, everybody’s so tight together. Unfortunately, I think maybe the car just has that little bit of a deficit – it seems that I couldn’t really do the difference this time, unfortunately, but we live and we learn.

“It’s something to be frustrated about because we still managed to get something out of the car, which felt great. Hopefully for the race we’ll be a bit closer.

“It looks likely to be a bit closer than usual. Unfortunately my lap got deleted, the last one, it was something like eight-hundredths off George [Russell], so that’s positive.

“On the other hand, I think we just have to look ahead and hopefully for next season, we’ll be closer.”

PlanetF1 verdict

Mazepin on verge of tears at Haas

Nikita Mazepin was close to tears as he carried out media duties after qualifying at Brazil.