Niktia Mazepin scores himself for 2021 F1 season as he shares his highs and lows along with Haas team boss Guenther Steiner.

Starting with 2021 season, Haas F1 team knew that they will go through a difficult time in terms of no car developments, but at the last races of the season, the car seemed to be a bit competitive than it had looked pretty much all season.

Something made Haas F1 boss Steiner surprised as being so close to the midfield cars with two rookies. While Mick Schumacher was pretty steady all-through the year apart from the incidents he had, Mazepin had a difficult run as he couldn’t settle in with the car.

Although he did improve as the season progressed but it was not enough to readily beat Schumacher. With the season coming to a close, Mazepin was asked to give himself a mark for his debut year in F1 with Haas out of five – something that reminded him of school.

“I really don’t know, I mean like I finished school 4 years ago and that was the last time I was receiving marks and when I’m in the paddock, I really miss it so much,” said Mazepin to media including “I guess for sticking through it, so, I never think you should get a 5 because 5 is excellence and I don’t know what excellence is.

“Today I might be excellent and tomorrow I realise I can do many more, so 4 is maximum what I give myself. So I guess 4 for sticking through because the times were already tough, this year certain points. I would say 3 for adaptation because Haas has been my strong point I keep improving on it,” summed up Mazepin.

The Russian scored himself more for sticking with the car all-through rather than outright performance which was up and down. In the same vein, when asked Mazepin about his highs and lows, he did admit to some mistakes.

The same was put forward to Steiner as well, who was more giving an overall picture rather than specific events, whereas Mazepin shared races in general. The Italian noted about no development this year on the car side where Haas was the only team to not score.

Lows of Mazepin: “I’ve used a few different cars this year like certainly when I used the cars that I have found difficult or heavy it was the lower moments, then I also like made some mistakes like in Bahrain race and some other events when I didn’t feel like I performed well or I tried too hard like my last lap time in Brazil when I believe we had a chance to out-qualify when Williams went to Q2 that was definitely the low moment.

Highs of Mazepin: “The high moment were many races I had good races in Silverstone and Brazil and Mexico.”

Steiner: “There are many highs and there were a lot of lows so, but there’s always good and bad. We knew that where we were going into it the year, so the high was, I mean, I think we got better all the year and as we said before to it, we never gave up. End of the season we are close to the people in front of us than the beginning of the season and we haven’t developed our car, for me that was the highs.

“I don’t have a result as a high but as a trajectory, I think there’s a team we got better during the season, the drivers got better and the team worked all together, that’s a high. And the low is a few of the crashes they tell you, wow this is hard every Sunday night, when you are last that’s a low, so that’s my highs and lows.”

The story was written by Oprah Sagal

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