Guenther Steiner talks the idea behind gifting Nikita Mazepin, the spinning top during F1 Styrian GP and releasing the video on social media.
After the social media storm surrounding the hiring of Mazepin by Haas ahead of the 2021 F1 season, it continues to push them in current times too, especially with the Russian having spins and off, whether it is in practice and or qualifying or races.
The rear end instability didn’t help Mazepin and with little to no development, it is more about optimising or lessening the trouble rather than eliminating them. Amid some grim runs, Haas eventually came up with an idea to bring some humour on his side.
During the F1 Styrian GP, Steiner gifted Mazepin a spinning top, in line with the social media name of ‘Mazespin’. “There is a little present for you so you can keep on Mazespinning, so now you spin this one, it’s better than spinning the car,” the video stated.
When asked about the particular joke from Haas, Steiner agreed that it was done to bring some humour element in the situation, where Mazepin became a target and only one side of his personality shone through, leaving the other side dormant in the eyes of fans.
“I think he got used to social media storms,” said Steiner to written media. “He was on the wrong side at some stages, and in the end social media can be good or bad to you. It was an idea in the team to do this to him and then we did it. It was decided to be a little bit funny.
“We can also be funny here – everything on social media about Nikita is about bad things so there can also be good things, try to use it to your advantage and get away from the naysayers. He was not uncomfortable, he was pretty happy. You know there is a happy Nikita Mazepin as well. He’s not this unhappy kid you all think he is, this miserable young man, he’s got a good sense of humor,” summed up Steiner.
— Nikita Mazepin (@nikita_mazepin) June 27, 2021
Here’s the video: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQnkef4gxv9/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
From F1 Styrian GP onward, it seems like an effort from Haas to show a different side of Mazepin as well. Apart from the spinning top video, the team also had a post-race clip where the Russian his first-pumping his team: https://twitter.com/HaasF1Team/status/1409565943655763971?s=20
Adding on Mazepin, Steiner noted that his confidence took a hit after the spins in Bahrain and since then, it is a bit of work to get back in full rhythm. “I would say his confidence got a little bit knocked when he came in,” he said. “Bahrain was very difficult circumstances, with the track and with the wind, and he had a few spins and I think that made him a little bit insecure.
“But I think he’s now coming to grips with that. But for sure it was a little bit more of a shock feeling for him, but he is getting his act together in the moment. I can see that he’s making progress,” summed up Steiner, who added that the Styrian GP was a nightmare for him due to the blue flags, which ruined the race for him.
Post-race, Mazepin asked his engineer about how many blue flags did Mick Schumacher had when compared to him. It was way less than the Russian, which set him back in the race eventually. “The race was very lonely,” he said.”I felt like a carrot that was about to be caught by a rabbit. Unfortunately, I was caught and then eventually I was also caught by the lapped cars.
“When you get to being lapped, you lose your tire temperatures, you go onto the dirt. It really is very painful. I was thinking when I was driving in the car that if there is one thing I can ask for Christmas is just to finish in the same lap as others because that’s not a clean race at all. Once you get caught by those train of cars, it’s just a never ending spiral. It is very painful for a driver, especially on a short circuit like Austria.”