Nikita Mazepin was blinded by the dirty spray during F1 Turkish GP as he apologised to Lewis Hamilton for the moment they had.
While Mercedes’ Hamilton was on his charge to the front from fag end of the Top 10 in F1 Turkish GP, he came across Haas’ Mazepin whom he was lapping. As they approached Turn 11, the Russian moved slightly towards his right to take the right-hander.
It happened at the same time when Hamilton almost took the inside line himself before backing out. The Brit eventually was let through on the exit. The move was certainly too close to comfort, especially in greasy conditions where the cars were twitching around.
Fortunately there was no contact and post-race, Mazepin apologised to Hamilton duly, noting that the spray made it impossible to check his mirrors. It was not just the watery spray, but mixed with oil which made the mirrors dirty from the start of the race.
In fact, Mazepin came on the radio during the race to request his race engineer to guide him for blue flags because it was impossible to see. The likes of Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon, had similar requests too.
“First of all, extremely sorry to Lewis,” said Mazepin to written media. “I’ve been complaining to the team that I can’t see anything with the mirrors, and I do need proper guidance in my ears on where the other cars are, because the spray – and Turkey isn’t exactly the cleanest spray that we have, so it flies and dries out – so I was driving blind.
“When you get so many cars overtaking you lapping you actually not once, but even twice, it was just a disaster. I’m happy that we managed to get away, but I’ll see Lewis and I’ll apologise to him,” summed up Mazepin, who ended up 20th after his teammate Mick Schumacher recovered from a spin to pass him for 19th.
Post-race, Mazepin also noted his race engineer to check his visor which got fogged up a lot during the race and further troubled him to see around. Among the others who suffered due to the spray and lost out big time was AlphaTauri’s Tsunoda.
The Japanese did everything right until a spin, which dropped him outside the points from where he couldn’t recover. Post-race, he stated that the time he spun, he thought that there was a car close behind and in the hurry to push on, he stepped on a puddle.
“I just had a spin and tried to go faster,” said Tsunoda. “There was not a clear mirror, I couldn’t see anything because of dirt and dust. I just couldn’t watch, I thought there’s a car right behind me so I just had to push and I spun but anyway the spin ruined my whole race so it’s a shame. We were able to score points today so it is just a shame.”
Here’s Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton on their pit call