Haas’ fight against clashes has not ended after having dismissed Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean at the end of 2020. In 2021, the rookies Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher have caused very tense moments, fighting too aggressively against each other.
Talking to Motorsport.com, the Russian reveals that even if he and Schumacher have been through "difficult times" they are normalising their working relationship, in order to "do what is necessary for the team"
"I'm not sure it was blown out of proportion. I think there were some difficult times when he was learning [about] me, I was learning [about] him” – Mazepin states.
“Every time I go out there, I want to be the car finishing in front, and I've always wanted that – he admits – And I will never stop wanting that until I leave that paddock and hang my pass on a wall”
“But now it's a very neutral relationship that doesn't have any highs and any lows, and it's just consistent. And that's the only way to achieve good results in this sport” – the Russian points out.
Mazepin goes inside his relationship with his teammate, admitting, "it is fair to say" that he and Schumacher are not friends, they have to make it work out as they need to reduce clashes and tensions in order to push the team forwards. “I'm here to win races. I know that's probably not going to happen in the foreseeable future but the way to make it happen is to get the best car you can, and to set it up in the fastest way possible. And that takes two people to do it,” – Nikita says.
“I'm sure Mick has exactly the same thoughts, ambitions and goals in his mindset, so we do what is necessary for the team. And I actually think we always try with both sides of the garage to go a bit beyond in achieving those goals.
The Russian than points out that he is in Formula 1 only for himself and has to focus on his own racing first. "Of course, you have to slightly wind down your approach, be more careful when you're fighting with a teammate because in F1 it sort of is really critical if anything happens between the two cars from the same team. But at the end of the day, we are here for Nikita Mazepin who races from Russia, and the other side is such and such from whichever country.”
"I'm living my own life and I want to make my own life the best I can, and I want to make sure that I have as many trophies [as possible] in my house from F1 or from any other series before I go into doing something else, - he adds . – So yes, I'm a team player, but if I have to give up, I will never do [it]."