The Haas F1 Team had a difficult stint on Sunday evening in Bahrain, with Mick Schumacher finishing in 16th, and Nikita Mazepin retiring on lap one after a spin between turn two and three.
Schumacher started out Sunday’s race from 18th and managed to keep his head down on his maiden voyage for the American team, crossing the line in P16.
Nikita Mazepin started in 19th, however, his debut grand prix came to an early close after just a few hundred meters due to the damage sustained to his VF-21.
Speaking after the race, Mazpein admitted to making a mistake and said he’s looking on the positive side of things, and says Bahrain will mark a learning experience for him.
He said: “It was very simple – I made a mistake. It was just one of those things. My start had been good, I got into turn one taking the outside line.
“I was then going through turn two and I was really trying to avoid Mick (Schumacher) as he was close and got too much on power – the tires didn’t take it.
“They were cold, I got on the kerb, took too much throttle and spun. It was totally my mistake, it’s very disappointing.
“I’m very sorry for the team as they deserved to do much better than that. Obviously, there’s always positives you can take – the learning experience is obviously there.”
Mick Schumacher finished out the day saying he was 90% happy with the result, and “10 percent not – because of the mistake I made, the spin, at the safety car restart. Luckily the car was still drivable, everything was alright so I could keep going and continue to build on my experience through the race weekend. Obviously, after that, I went through the C3 and the C2, which felt really good.
“It was a bit of a shame that I wasn’t in the pack to be able to at least try to be close to the guys for a few laps. Fortunately, I did get through things like blue flags and I caught up to Nicholas (Latifi) – so I was able to feel how it was to follow a car closely and have DRS.
“Overall, I feel like I’ve learned a lot, and hopefully I’m able to convert that into something positive for the next race.”
Meanwhile, Team Principal, Guenther Steiner said:
“We had a 50 percent success rate today.
“Mick (Schumacher) did a very good job – I think he learned a lot today, and the team learned a lot, the strategy’s working. Nikita (Mazepin), obviously, we all saw had a spin on the first lap which compromised his race.
“He doesn’t feel great about it, but we put it down as learning. He will get back at it again at the next race weekend, for sure he’s learned from this weekend.
“In general terms, the team worked very well over the whole weekend together with the drivers. I think they’ve all started to gel as a team.
“They’ve been working together, they understand each other.
“These things always take time. It’s very complex, the whole sport is so complex, and it’s only time that gives you some solutions.
“You cannot force these things and you cannot buy them. Every day we are together working is a plus.”