Haas Team Principal Blames First-Lap Crash On Nikita Mazepin’s Character

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said Nikita Mazepin “was pretty beat up” following his disastrous F1 debut in Bahrain.

Nikita Mazepin at 2021 Bahrain GP - Formula1news.co.uk

Nikita Mazepin had a disastrous start to life as an F1 driver, with him qualifying at the back of the grid (though he started in P19 due to Sebastian Vettel getting a penalty) and only navigating a couple of corners before crashing his car on Sunday.

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The incident, which was entirely self-inflicted and didn’t involve another driver, forced Mazepin to retire from his debut race in the pinnacle of motorsport just a matter of seconds after it had got underway.

Speaking after the race, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said Mazepin “was pretty beat up” but is looking forward to what he’s hoping to be a better weekend in Imola.

“He was pretty beat up. I just said to him to keep his head up and keep on going,” Steiner said.

“For sure, it is not ideal what happened but it happened so he beats himself up pretty badly.

“He is ready to go again so we pushed him up again but otherwise Mick did a good job. At least we got half of it achieved. 50 percent there,” he added.

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Steiner was asked if Mazepin’s mistakes earlier in the weekend led to the young Russian being over-motivated and pushing too hard at the start to make up ground.

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“He pushed a little bit harder but I think that’s his character more than anything else, just to try to find the limit and sometimes you go over it,” Steiner replied.

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“I’m not really surprised about that because he tries to do the best he can and obviously, our car is not easy to drive.

“I think he is one of these guys where he just tries very hard.”

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