During a virtual media session on Thursday, which included MotorLat.com, Haas boss Guenther Steiner confirmed that Nikita Mazepin has a heavier car than teammate Mick Schumacher – and will continue to do so until after the summer break.
The Russian driver had been complaining about the situation following the Styrian Grand Prix last Sunday, where he felt 'like a carrot that was about to be caught' when Schumacher was running behind him early on.
Steiner didn’t want to go into details about the weight difference between the two cars, but conceded Mazepin has been running with a heavier car.
“I don’t want to go into the specific weight difference, it’s not very [big],” said Steiner.
“There is a small weight difference depending on the weight distribution, because sometimes you cannot get to the weight distribution if you don’t put a little bit overweight ballast in.
“Heavy is never good, but it’s not like 20kg heavy or not 10kg heavy, it is nothing like this.
“The chassis, the plan is to have it not in six or seven races, the chassis is planned to be with us after the summer break.”
Asked if the repairing of the chassis following accidents has contributed to it, Steiner denied that.
“No. The chassis there is always a tolerance, and the chassis are a year old – they raced for a year,” Steiner continued.
“Normally, you make every year a new one and the chassis is never going to get lighter over the year.
“So I think there’s a little bit of that and also the tolerance. It’s just a little bit higher, but not a lot.”
Mazepin’s comments from the last race complaining about his heavier car is a topic that also came up. The Russian finished 42s behind Schumacher at the end of the race last weekend; he also ended up behind Latifi despite the fact the Canadian picked up a puncture on lap one.
However, the Haas team boss believes the big gap wasn’t to do with weight, it was due to the fact that he struggled to get the tyres working again after letting cars through when receiving blue flags.
“Last race, it wasn’t that [the extra weight that made Mazepin vulnerable],” said Steiner.
“He got caught by the lapping cars and that makes you a sitting duck because once you let three cars go by, your tyres go where you don’t want them to be and you never get it back.
“I don’t think that has anything to do with the chassis. That happened because in the beginning we decided to get him an earlier pitstop to keep him out of the blue flags.”