Guenther Steiner doesn’t see an ‘unfair’ situation after the latest fight between Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin in F1 French GP, as George Russell pleased to get Williams back ahead of Haas.
It was not a heavy impact in F1 French GP, but with Haas duo Schumacher and Mazepin only having themselves to fight, any tussle between them, will be one to watch out. After late Baku fight, there was another in France, albeit, at the start this time.
After a bad start from Russell, it allowed Schumacher to pounce on him in the opening few corners, but the German missed the apex, which brought Mazepin in the game, as he then barged his way through the German in the right-hander.
Schumacher had to take evasive action and go around the run-off again, but the German was back in his stride later on and passed Mazepin in the pits to finish ahead of him. Both had issues with the tyres as it was with others, but the Russian said he suffered more.
For Steiner, it was hard racing but not unfair between the two as with the situation they are in, they have themselves to fight against. “To be honest, when it happened, I didn’t see it well,” he said to media including FormulaRapida.net. “I spoke with both of them and I think in the circumstances it was racing, but it wasn’t unfair by any means.
“In my opinion it was hard racing. Mick tried to overtake George I think and just had to slow down because it didn’t happen, and Nikita took his chance and went inside. I spoke with both of them because I didn’t see the picture completely so I came to the conclusion that it was racing but it wasn’t unfair,” summed up Steiner.
Adding more on if this will lead to more fights with the aggression from Mazepin, Steiner stated: “I think most people can explain that to themselves, that maybe it doesn’t have to be like that. I think he [Mazepin] was quite open or talkative about it in the press. I think that’s probably his style. Maybe we don’t quite understand each other on that level. But at the end of the day, maybe we have to get our elbows out.”
For Schumacher, he understood that Mazepin got the chance to dive, but going forward, the German noted that he has to be mindful of it. “I was battling with George and kind of missed the corner – I went deep into it – and Mazepin got the chance,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting him to go for it but he did.
“Unfortunately that meant that I had to go into the escape road again and the tyres were very dirty after that and just took a bit of time to recover. But definitely afterwards the C2 stint was very good and I managed to undercut Mazepin in that case. It doesn’t have to be like that. I think I’ll have to talk to the team about it again.
“At the end of the day, if that’s the way it has to be, then that’s the way it has to be. So we’ll do our thing. I think he’s doing his,” summed up Schumacher. For Mazepin, it was normal scenario as he noted that he saw the gap and went for it, as opportunities don’t come by often at the back.
“I took an opportunity when it came,” Mazepin said. “I think that’s good because the opportunities don’t come very often being at the back, unfortunately just a lack of pace at the end. I think starting on the alternative strategy to just try something different wasn’t the best because I think a lot of teams were caught out by the increased tyre wear than we were expecting.
“It’s difficult to judge the tyre management being on the other set of tyres. But nevertheless I had an opportunity early in the race, I took it, just not enough pace towards the end. Unfortunately these mediums don’t last a very long time so they were finished before the race ended,” summed up Mazepin.
Meanwhile, for Haas, after the joy in Baku to get Williams for ninth, it was short-lived as the British team took back the place after Russell’s 12th place finish in French GP, especially at an event, where there were no retirement.
Russell was benefited from the issues for other teams and a late pass on AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda eventually sealed the deal. “It was a really great race from within,” he said. “I managed to do a couple of great overtakes and I did a really nice one with Tsunoda at the end which for us, finishing ahead of these cars, the Alfas, Ocon and overtaking Tsunoda on track and finishing 12th on merit, I would go as far as saying that is probably our best ever race together with Williams.
“It is a shame nothing happened in front because as I said 12th on merit is ordinarily quite a good result, but nevertheless I’m really pleased with that. I had Haas in ninth in the back of my mind. If we’re not in the points we need to focus on getting that P9 back in the championship.
“I mean, we obviously don’t know if Haas will score points this year or not, but it’s making sure we finish as high as possible so we beat them even if we’re on zero points. P12 in France, back in P9 in the constructors, this is very important for the team,” summed up Russell.
Here’s how F1 French GP panned out