Mick Schumacher says engine issues in F1 Monaco GP meant he had to give up the place to Nikita Mazepin, but both had a good run overall in challenging conditions.
Post-race, the young pair was asked to refine their concentration in the 78 laps around the Principality. Mazepin 17th and Schumacher 18th, this is where the two F1 rookies reached the chequered flag in Monaco GP. And this is what their job was: manage to get to the end of the race.
After some blips in F1 2021, Mazepin managed to do better than his teammate for the first time this season. A technical issue on Schumacher’s cars helped him retain the 17th place, but he impressed for his ability to measure the risks and finish the race.
“The race was very intense,” said Mazepin to TV media. “Ever since I started racing in single-seaters I haven’t had so much required concentration, because on this track, even though we’re one of the slowest teams, everything flies by so much. There was a moment when I was going through Turn 14.
“I just felt like I touched the wall, and that’s where Charles went off in qualifying, I mean there was just really no margin for mistakes. The car was quite difficult to drive fast out there but we’ve made good progress within my internal team since Barcelona and that’s a very positive picture,” summed up Mazepin, who noted about post-Spain analytic work done to bring some changes, which helped him to improve.
Meanwhile, Schumacher, after a terrible performance during FP that denied him the chance to showcase his driving skills during the qualifying session, hoped for better luck. His Haas had some gremlins affecting his performance during the race. There was one moment in the race where he did a 1m29s lap just after Lewis Hamilton overtook him – that is where he faced some power issue.
“We had a small issue on the engine side for a few laps mid-race and unfortunately I lost a lot of time to the guys ahead and I had to let Nikita by because we didn’t manage to fix it before,” said Schumacher. “After that the pace was quite good, I felt we were quite close to matching the pace in the midfield which was good, and we caught up to Nikita. We didn’t do a switchback which was ok, it was understandable – obviously, we had quite a few guys behind us so there was going to be blue flags.
“Once the issue was sorted, our pace was very good, very consistent and I think even, close to what the midfield guys were doing, especially at the end, where we were able to keep out of the blues, which obviously saves a bit of time,” summed up Schumacher, who had a smile when asked about his Lap 1 move on his teammate in the hairpin.
“It was close, I didn’t intend to be that close, obviously Nikita moved as well, last moment when I already had committed but nonetheless everything worked well,” said Schumacher. “Overall, lots learned this weekend, with some positives and some negatives but we live and we learn I guess. I’m already looking forward to Baku.”
Signs of relief on Guenther Steiner’s face when both of his cars returned to the parc fermé after the race. The Italian was slightly disappointed in the lack of key events during the race, but he is confident that his young drivers have gained plenty of experience in the toughest racetrack of the championship.
“It’s a good thing at this race that we got to the end of it with both cars unharmed. Mick had a temporary power issue which we think was related to the fuel pressure pick up, it was unfortunate, but he was able to keep going at least,” said Steiner. “We did good laps and the guys learned a lot about Monte Carlo – which is always a tough race. Obviously, there was no big event that happened that would have allowed us any opportunity.
“Once you start to get into the blue flags, tire temperatures come down and you just keep falling back, and that’s what happened to us today. Onwards and upwards – ready for the next one,” summed up Steiner, as the experience acquired in Monaco will be fundamental in the next race, in Baku, on the 6th of June.
Here’s how F1 Monaco GP panned out
The story was written by Lorenzo Liegi