Haas: Not one side to blame in latest Mazepin-Schumacher F1 clash
Following an incident between the drivers over qualifying etiquette on Saturday, Mazepin and Schumacher had a near-miss during Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix in the opening stages.
As Schumacher looked to pass Mazepin on the right-hand side as they started the second lap, Mazepin moved across late, forcing Schumacher to back out. Schumacher also picked up a bit of front wing damage after touching Mazepin’s wheel, forcing him into an early pit stop.
It was not the first time that Mazepin had made a late move on the main straight against Schumacher, having done similar at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in June.
Schumacher said after the race that he felt “very angry” about Mazepin’s move when it happened, but opted against voicing his thoughts over team radio.
“It’s just a pity,” Schumacher said. “In the end, he ruined the race for me because then my front wing was broken and we had to come in. Then with all the blue flags, you don’t have a race anymore.”
Schumacher also told ServusTV: “I think that we are just very different people, also in the way we handle things. But that’s also okay. So he should do his thing, I’ll do mine.
“It’s just a pity when such things are played out on the track and dangerous things happen where I’m not completely behind it.”
But Haas F1 team principal Steiner said there was “not one [person] to be blamed on this”, revealing he had already spoken with Schumacher and Mazepin about what happened.
“We need to work on it, to be constructive,” Steiner said. “We had a meeting after our engineering debrief about it. We haven’t come to a conclusion.
“The plan is to meet before Monza and to see what we need to do to avoid this in future, because it doesn’t help anybody. I tried to explain that one. And we will work on it. And will work on it until we get it sorted.”
Asked if he agreed with Schumacher’s belief that the move was dangerous, Steiner said: “I think you can always say it’s dangerous.
“You can avoid danger. I don’t think it was a nasty move, to be honest. I looked at this scenario and it takes always two to tango.”
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Schumacher said there was “room for improvement” in his relationship with Mazepin, but that suggestions the Russian driver had followed the team’s rules about passing each other were incorrect.
“It depends on what the rules are for him, I think probably my rules are a little different,” Schumacher said.
“When you’re pushed into the wall, or in that case the pit wall, you are very reluctant to go there.
“I think we just have to talk about it again with the team. I don’t think that’s good for us as a team.”
Additional reporting by Stefan Ehlen