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F1 | Saudi Arabian GP | Nikita Mazepin “this track doesn´t forgive your mistakes”

The Russian driver will start the Saudi Arabian Gp from the back of the grid.

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F1 | Saudi Arabian GP | Nikita Mazepin “this track doesn´t forgive your mistakes”
Fuente imagen: Twitter. Uralkali Haas F1 team.

MotorLat had access to a media session with Nikita Mazepin. The young driver shared his thoughts on the Qualy session, the very demanding Saudi Arabian track and what he expects for the race.

During FP3 Nikita found Lewis unexpectedly when he was on a fast lap. The British driver was summoned to the stewards but didn´t receive a grid penalty. When asked to explain what happened from his perspective Nikita said: 

“I was on a fast lap and I was going through turns seven and eight which are flat in our car. They are all blind and I didn´t know there was a car on the racing line so I kept it flat until a moment I saw he was not going to move from it. Not a big deal from my side we are trained to have the reactions necessary to avoid these kind of situations and Lewis has been very nice and we send each other texts about that. I just hoped that he had a good qualifying and he did as always so that´s the main thing.”

Asked about what does a driver think when he finds himself in a situation like that of FP3 he explained: 

“Instantly you have one or two swearing words come out of your mouth because we really put everything on that line for that lap and then it doesn´t come along but I had a lot of experience in this and here you don´t have a chance to rely on your mirrors and the engineer is not a robot, he´s a human being and he´s got so many jobs to do as well as telling you where you are on track. Sometimes, he doesn´t tell you in the right moment. They don´t deserve the criticism for it.”

On whether he agreed with the stewards’ decision, Nikita said, “I really like Lewis and I really wish him all the best that I can on his title fight. I wouldn’t want him to be penalized for something that was together with me in my first year in F1. He was probably focusing on finding a bit of a lap time before qualy so, if the cost was for me not to complete one of my laps in FP3 so be it.”

Nikita said that he was having a meeting with Michael Massi to discuss what to do and not to do when queueing to get a gap before the last flying lap in Q1. His point was not to criticize but to see their opinion. Nikita who was criticized at the beginning of the season for not respecting the famous “gentleman agreement” said “interestingly 20 races later, drivers who have been here for over 10 years overtook me into the last corner 100 mtrs before starting the lap. So the rules are the same for everyone. I´m new in the sport so I will play along what others are doing but I think it´s unacceptable to criticize the young generation then, later on as the year goes on changing the procedure. I guess that I need to learn and analyse because what happened was very disappointing. I´ve been overtaken by Vettel, I started the lap behind him.  Max and him both break on the straight and if you lose one and a half second going into turn 1 there´s no point to continue at the pace that we´re going so I need to speak and analyse…”

When MotorLat asked him what kind of race he expects tomorrow considering the traffic at some sectors he said, “I don´t think traffic and race is related the thing that I still can´t get around my head is the track is 6.1 kms long and 20 cars really struggled to fit through it at a certain period of the session but I don´t think it will make an impact on the race. I think it won´t be easy to overtake for cars that are equaled pace but it should be a track where you really should survive because it really doesn´t forgive you mistakes. The walls are there to catch you out but let´s see what Lewis and Max are gonna do.”

When asked about the concerns his teammate had over the difficulty to avoiding incidents he said “of course I´m concerned but Baku is the same and Monaco is the same…this is the price of our job.”

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