Nikita Mazepin has stated that he isn’t in Haas’s ‘bad books’, despite his relationship with Mick Schumacher seemingly continuing to sour after last weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix.
The Russian, who has nearly come together already with his German teammate in both Monte Carlo and Baku, nearly collided twice with Schumacher at Zandvoort, during both Qualifying and in the Grand Prix itself, causing Schumacher to pit with front wing damage.
During the weekend, both drivers had criticised each other in the media, with Schumacher wanting consequences for Mazepin’s late move during the race, whilst Mazepin was enraged with Schumacher for not letting him go during Qualifying causing him to swerve into Sebastian Vettel on a hot lap, blocking the four-time World Champion and landing both drivers a trip to the stewards’ room.
Nevertheless, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner was keen to diffuse the situation by sitting the pair down for a discussion, with Mazepin revealing during media day at Monza that he was not in Steiner’s bad books after the Zandvoort weekend.
“It’s good to know that I’m not in the bad books, so that’s positive. But I want to respect the privacy of those discussions. The doors were closed and I don’t think it will be comfortable for all parties if it was an open discussion, so I’ll keep it in that.”
When asked about the incident with Schumacher during the race, Mazepin stated that Schumacher should have backed off rather than keeping his foot down and edging left to avoid a bollard.
“They have not because we have deemed that I have not broken any sort of rules or violation within the FIA sporting and racing regulations. Therefore, we’re going to work as a team to try and fix that but perhaps sometimes you need to lift when you see that there is a bollard in front of you instead of damaging your car. But we will see.”
Schumacher, however, stated that he wishes to keep the matter between the team and out of the public eye.
“We’ve discussed it with the team internally, and I’m quite keen on keeping it internal as well, and obviously I think that it has been an understanding that we have taken within the team.”