Steiner says Haas duo have 'cleared the air' after Schumacher left fuming by last lap Mazepin jink in Baku
Haas drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin finished the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in P13 and P14, for the team’s – and the drivers’ – best finish this season. But that happiness was tainted by a late-race spat on track between Schumacher and Mazepin that left the young German driver furious.
With two laps of racing remaining in Baku, Schumacher and Mazepin had taken the Lap 50 standing restart in 15th and 16th places respectively, with Mazepin then passing Schumacher on track – as an error from Lewis Hamilton dropped the Mercedes driver behind the two Haas cars.
But as they entered the final straight and headed for the line, Schumacher had enough momentum to attempt to pass his team mate back, only for Mazepin to appear to jink his Haas VF-21 towards Schumacher, crowding him into the wall before the German slipped past. The pair duly crossed the line in P14 and P15, before being promoted up a place following a 30-second penalty applied to Williams’ Nicholas Latifi - a result that moved Haas above Williams in the constructors' championship to ninth.
But the incident led to Schumacher gesticulating angrily at Mazepin from his cockpit, before sounding off on team radio after crossing the line, telling engineer Gary Cannon: “What the f*** was that? Honestly. Seriously. Does he want to kill us? Wow” – with Cannon replying: “Understood Mick, it’s been observed, everyone’s aware.”
Speaking after the race, Mazepin didn’t make direct reference to the incident, but told the media that he’d been “upset” about losing the place to Schumacher, saying: “The main thing is I’m a bit upset about losing my position to my team mate on the main straight. I ran out of battery there so I was a bit of a sitting passenger. But it is what it is.
“Obviously [the result is] a nice number for the team but an unexpected situation had happened with the other drivers which enabled us to get that position.”
Schumacher, meanwhile, would only go as far as describing the race as “interesting”, adding: “[There were] loads of things going on, even in the back.
“On our side, we were expecting the tyres to last a bit longer, they didn’t, so therefore we had to do a few extra stops. But nonetheless we learned a lot and now it’s onto the triple header.”
Team Principal Guenther Steiner is famously uncompromising when it comes to on-track excesses between his drivers, and he told the media that he’d addressed the situation between the pair.
“Obviously, there was a situation on the straight, that was all resolved, and we’ve cleared the air," he said. "There was some misunderstanding, but we’re fine and all moving on from it.”