Nikita Mazepin explains his emotions during F1 Sao Paulo GP and adds on Haas members leaving, while Guenther Steiner has his say too.

Haas’ Mazepin revealed the reasons behind his emotion after F1 Sao Paulo GP qualifying, following a mistake at the end of Q1 that ruined his final run. His team boss Steiner also gave his insight into Mazepin’s emotions and happenings with the team.

Since Mazepin arrived in the sport at the start of the year, there hasn’t been a lot of love for the Russian, unfairly one could argue. His off track antics as well as on track haven’t made him the most popular man in the paddock. So having a tough rookie season whilst there being animosity to deal with is a situation that cannot be pleasant.

Although it was a small mistake on Friday and at a track he’s never driven around before, he could be forgiven for making a little error whilst on the limit. But you get the feeling that the emotion shown after the session went deeper, more of a “straw that broke the camel’s back” situation after a challenging year for the Haas driver, having so much to deal with.

Post the sprint qualifying, Mazepin spoke to media including and expanded on the emotions he had after Friday qualifying. The Russian discussed about the internal situation where many are leaving the team which is making it all the more troublesome for the F1 rookie to prosper.

Emotions after qualifying:

Mazepin – “It was mostly to do with the mistake on the qualifying lap, where I’m going through a pretty challenging period in the last few races, not only to do with the car balance but also with some internal things going on in the team. That makes the results more important at this particular moment in time. And when you come so close to finish like what I felt was a great lap in the car we currently have, and by your own doing try to hard, and lose that lap, it hurts.

“I work quite hard with different specialists to make sure my emotions behave correctly in the car, but when you have only four minutes or so after jumping out of the car until you speak to journalists who ask you questions that bring back those memories and you know what could have been it just feels sad. There’s not much else in my life other than racing. In fact, there’s nothing. So I put myself on the line for this and I get upset, which is natural when things don’t go well.”

What internal shuffle:

Mazepin – “As you know the team shuffling around, people were coming and going in last few races and I know not everybody that is around me this year are planning to stay for next year. I enjoy the environment I’m in, I’ve been surrounded by some very great honest people, my engineer left last week to another team and he’s unfortunately not the only one. That’s the challenge.”

Why they are leaving and who:

Mazepin – “Good people in any industry is… something you want to hold onto. Unfortunately, personal relationships isn’t something that in this sport can make people stay, it’s the financial reasons quite a lot of the times, and as you know life goes on, people get families, the calendar ever gets growing. Unfortunately, they are right in that respect that families should come first.

“Sport is all I do in my life but I’m only 22 and I guess if I was 10 years older and I had kids I would make similar decisions as what they do. I don’t think it’s good to put names here, I respect the privacy of the people who made those decisions, but yeah id just like to say that my team of engineering members hasn’t been the same and been changing ever since Turkey.”

Mexico football session to come closer:

Mazepin – “It was just something that happened without much thought into it, actually everybody played and some people played that are not even here this week. But that does not realty matter you know it’s a way to have some enjoyment with people that you work with. But I think work is not only about working at the circuit its about being able to talk about their challenges in their life perhaps something that they find challenging in their careers of their days and in the end most of the people in my team are English, everybody loves football and although they’re better than me at playing that game, it was still a great event to take part in.”

How it adds to challenge:

Mazepin – “It is really challenging, because it’s not like an office job where you can come in, do some stuff and go away. To succeed in racing, I know what it takes. And it takes a special bond of people who work, they work their asses off for you and you do it vice-versa. This sort of drive keeps going forward. And that’s something that has enabled me to achieve results in previous years. But when the mechanic that works directly with you changes, you probably haven’t had time to adapt to him.

“And then, you know, the headrest comes off like in Austin, and then although the race isn’t over, it sort of is, because when you make an unnecessary pit stop that cost 25 seconds, it’s really difficult to bounce back. So it’s like getting pieces of wood in a spinning tyre on a bike. It just really does stop that momentum that I dream of, that’s everything that I do. But hey, I’ve been there before and I will get out of it stronger than I ever was.”

While Mazepin had his say, Steiner had little to say on the matter and seemed bemused when asked about it. He also joked about the situation clearly trying to play the whole thing down. The Russian hints at a number of reasons contributing to the emotion from Friday and it serves as a reminder how much these drivers have to deal with.

Steiner, though, expanded on the members leaving which is true but didn’t wish to add who and how many. He was more onto the thing that there will be people leaving and there will be ones who will stay on. Whilst Mazepin may have had a challenging first year in F1, he is here for a reason and will only come back stronger in 2022.

Emotions from Mazepin, surprise:

Steiner – “Obviously got to him and he got emotional. It is one of the things which can happen. But was I surprised? Not really, I mean, I don’t have a big opinion on that one. He must get emotional when he sees media. But for me he is normal, I don’t see any difference and I don’t see him in your session when he gets emotional. Somebody must be triggering it, we need to find out who.”

Reshuffle and whats happening:

Steiner – “Every year you have got a little bit of change. On his car in particular this year this year a few people just don’t want to do the 23-race schedule next year. His race engineer started a family and he’s leaving because he wants to do something [else], he’s staying in racing but not in Formula 1, he’s doing something different. A few people move around and obviously when you are at the back of the grid, it’s always more because the motivation is just not as high as when you’re winning.

“When you are winning and when you are having big results, you keep yourself going by having more results. So this is quite normal. But in general I would say we have got a little more turnover than the years before but not a lot. Think about it because we are just preparing something for people who are with us a long time, we have 60 people who are with us for 5 years which is quite a lot of people given we started from zero. I just see it a little bit combined with results especially on his side and then the 23 race schedule.”

Why leaving and if it shows calendar is big:

Steiner – “There will be always people wanting to go racing. As I said before everybody is different, everybody has got choices to make in life and some people now in the moment you can make choices because there are quite a lot of jobs out there even outside of racing. A lot of people leave racing all together because I think younger people are not as interested anymore to do something in racing like maybe my generation because there was nothing else to do now.

“I mean you are one of them, you are younger than me, you’ve got a lot of choices, you want the weekends off so you can do something with your friends and so its also the times. I think there will always be people wanting to go racing but maybe some people say, ‘I’ll stick around for a few years and then I do something different, I’ll see a bit of the world. I’ll enjoy a bit of Formula 1, and then I’ll do something different or go to a racing series where there is not so many races. So. I think obviously there’s a lot of races, but somebody who wants to do it is still going to do it, that’s my opinion.”

Who leaving if you can:

Steiner – “No I cannot, this is private, I cannot discuss people and what theyre doing. Dominic was on paternity leave for 2 races so you know what happened there. But on the rest who is leaving and who is not, I wouldn’t dramatize what was just said here from me. There is not like a mass exodus, by no means. It’s a little bit of turnover talked in, again, into a big drama, which it isn’t. This is happening in racing, at the end of the year some people move on and some people move out of motorsport because there’s other things to do as well.”

The story was written by Ollie Pattas

Here’s Nikita Mazepin and Guenther Steiner clarifying on Mexico nightclub

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