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Formula 1

Mazepin: ‘Disaster’ Dutch GP qualifying caused by Schumacher

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
3 min read

Nikita Mazepin felt Haas Formula 1 team-mate Mick Schumacher deliberately compromised his Dutch Grand Prix qualifying session by violating the agreed running order and overtaking him on their outlaps.

The two drivers ended up side-by-side at the penultimate corner on their outlaps and combined to block Sebastian Vettel on his final flying lap in the process.

Mazepin left the pitlane ahead of Schumacher but Schumacher was told if he did want to overtake Mazepin and get track position he should do so early in the lap, which he did.

“I thought Mick is not allowed to overtake me,” Mazepin queried. “That’s not fine, you said he’s not allowed to overtake me.”

Later round the lap, the two cars were separated in the final queue by a McLaren, which Mazepin moved ahead of and then moved to get past Schumacher before the penultimate corner as well.

As they both scrambled to get out of the way of Vettel – but failed to do so, wrecking his lap – Schumacher managed to stay ahead and beat Mazepin to the line to start a final flying lap.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Dutch Grand Prix Practice Day Zandvoort, Netherlands

Mazepin then had a seriously slow run through and off the final corner as he appeared to still be waiting for Vettel, which meant he was unable to attempt a representative last effort.

He called it a “disaster” and said he was meant to have “track priority” this weekend.

“I was meant to be the first guy,” Mazepin said. “To dictate the pace for the outlap and the drivers around, but your team-mate isn’t able to overtake you.

“Well, it happened. Second time that he overtook me, backed me up.

“I’ll have a word with the team to see why that happened.”

In a separate interview, Mazepin said he was previously chastised by the team for overtaking Schumacher when he had priority and claimed this is the second time Schumacher has done it to him and “f***s my last attempt in qualifying on purpose”.

“I am not happy because if you do it once and you didn’t know about it that’s fine, but if you keep doing it twice, that’s deliberate,” said Mazepin.

“There shouldn’t be any tension like that in the team. There’s no point, so I’m f****d off.

“I already told the team what I think and they agree, so I don’t know what the other party says.”

Schumacher explained that as he wanted to do a quicker outlap he asked the team if he could be let past Mazepin.

“We spoke with the team about it, I went through the pitlane, my tyres were cooling down, so usually what I do is do faster outlap,” he said.

Formula 1 2021: Dutch Gp

“In that case, Nikita was doing a slow outlap so I requested to overtake which I got the OK to do so, which I did. Early enough.

“I had Lando as well between us so I don’t really understand the confusion which happened in the last corner. Obviously, that messed up a few things for everybody.”

Schumacher said he apologised to Vettel, a friend and mentor, but all three drivers have been summoned to the stewards.

As for Mazepin, Schumacher said: “Obviously I have to see how it is from the outside.

“I think that the team were for sure frustrated about it. For me, from what I know, I did everything right.”

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