Ralf not sure ‘always overwhelmed’ Mazepin is right team-mate for Schumacher

Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin ended the 2021 Drivers' Championship P19 and P20, respectively.

Ralf Schumacher hopes his nephew Mick is provided with the necessary tools to compete for points in 2022, but does not believe he has an adequate team-mate in Nikita Mazepin.

Schumacher ended the 2021 season 19th in the Drivers’ Championship, while his 13th-placed finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix would prove the Haas team’s best result in their most dire season yet since their entry into Formula 1 in 2016.

The German out-qualified his Russian team-mate 20 times in 22 races, and Ralf wants Haas to take advantage of the new technical regulations in 2022 to give the 22-year-old a car capable of truly challenging in the midfield fight.

READ: Schumacher focused on Haas despite possibility of racing with Ferrari in 2022

“The team must now create a basis for him to score points. And then it also depends on what Mick out of the situation,” he said in an interview with Motorsport-Total.com.

“He’s driving relatively alone at the moment, despite his young age he has to drive the development of the team and make decisions.”

The 46-year-old also expressed his disappointment in Mazepin’s performances, who was accident-prone and at times significantly adrift of the pace of his Switzerland-born counterpart.

The six-time race winner describes him as a driver “who can sometimes drive fast, but is always overwhelmed.

“So I don’t know if he’s the right person to develop the new car in a pioneering team with Mick.”

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Mick has previously gone on record to suggest that his debut F1 season was not quite as difficult as he may have anticipated it would be, and Ralf is pleased the progress his nephew has made both on and off the track.

“He has learned a lot, and that also in the team… If something goes wrong, then he apologises immediately with his team and keeps working hard,” he explained.

“That’s what makes a good racing driver.”

Tensions were evident at Haas last season as the two rookies frequently squabbled for position, occasionally getting a little too close for comfort.

Mazepin has previously acknowledged that his relationship with Schumacher was not always easy last year, but his main goal will always be to compete with his team-mate.

“I think there were some difficult times when he was learning [about] me, I was learning [about] him,” he said.

READ: F1 CEO looking forward to Mick Schumacher racing with Ferrari

“Every time I go out there, I want to be the car finishing in front and I’ve always wanted that. And I will never stop wanting that until I leave the paddock and hang my pass on a wall.”

Haas ended the 2021 Constructors’ Championship 10th and last, and have retained their driver line-up for this year.

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