Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi has said he will have a word with Haas F1 rookie Nikita Mazepin for his on-track conduct in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Mazepin tucked in behind Giovinazzi down the start-finish straight as they both started their final laps in Q1, and the Russian rookie used the tow to overtake the Italian driver just before the first braking zone.
This prompted an angry reaction from Giovinazzi on the radio and he later said he will be speaking to Mazepin about the incident.
“What is Mazepin doing, honestly?” the Alfa Romeo driver said on the radio after Mazepin overtook him.
In a post-qualifying interview, Giovinazzi hit out at Mazepin for an apparent lack of respect:
“Drivers respect each other on the race track, but we definitely didn’t see that today.
“Mazepin destroyed my lap. This is not the kind of behaviour I expect from another driver and so I will have to speak to him,” he added.
However, the controversial Russian racing driver defended himself and blamed the incident on the nature of the circuit.
“When there are only a few seconds left to cross the line for another lap, you either step on the gas or drive into the pits. I don’t see where the problem is here,” Mazepin said.
“I’m here to do some quick laps. And we all live in the same world.”
Mazepin will start the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in P19, with only Yuki Tsunoda behind him because the Japanese rookie failed to set a lap time in Q1 due to him crashing early in the session.
The Russian driver’s team-mate, Mick Schumacher, will start the race one position ahead of him, but he was around half-a-second quicker than Mazepin.
This difference in pace prompted ex-F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, Mick’s uncle, to say that the 2020 Formula Two Champion had “destroyed” Mazepin in qualifying.
“You can already speak not of Mick having beaten him, but having destroyed him,” Ralf Schumacher said on Saturday.
“We are talking about the human factor in the cockpit here. Mick is in super shape, he made no mistakes right from the start and kept improving. He can be proud of that,” he added.