Haas: Drivers should listen, not try to be strategists

Haas Formula 1 boss Gunther Steiner says his drivers should listen and stop trying to be strategists, following the latest incident between Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher.

Haas: Drivers should listen, not try to be strategists
Listen to this article

Mazepin was left annoyed in qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix when he was refused a request to overtake his teammate during a preparation lap in Q1.

When told he could not, he responded on the radio: "Are you having a laugh?"

Haas' chief race engineer Ayao Komatsu intervened and made clear the team was not joking, and told the Russian that he should drop back if he wanted a gap.

Mazepin felt it unfair that he was turned down the request to move ahead of Schumacher, whereas his teammate was allowed to do exactly that to help better prepare his tyres at the Dutch Grand Prix.

"In the previous event in the Netherlands, we could exchange positions, and he's been given a green light, where I've been given a red light," explained Mazepin.

But Steiner does not think comparisons with what happened at Zandvoort are fair.

He is clear that one of the lessons from after that event was that the pitwall had final say on matters, because it was better able to judge the bigger picture of traffic than the drivers could in the cockpit.

"I think it was clear after Zandvoort, we discussed it," said Steiner. "We said that we [on the pitwall] will look in to what is going to happen, because we see a lot more than they see.

"We saw that there was no point [to let him through], because even if Nikita overtakes Mick, he will be stuck behind the Williams. So there is no gain there. And then his tyre temps were okay.

"So it was just like: no, stay where you are because otherwise we take a risk, going over the finish line and having our two cars drag racing down the straight and both losing out in Turn 1.

"In the end actually it ended up better for Nikita, because Mick got in traffic in the last turns, and he didn't. But he does not know that."

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Steiner said Haas was always making decisions in the best interest of the team, and was not favouring one driver over the other.

"We just try to do the best, because what I always tell them: guys, we see a lot more than you. So do not try to be now the race strategist or anything. Just listen.

"Obviously his [Mazepin's] reaction was, I think, in the heat of the moment, he wanted to know more. And then it was just like, no: this is what you are doing."

Mazepin spoke to the team about the incident after qualifying and said it had not impacted his relationship, while Schumacher was also far from fussed about matters.

"Certainly from our side, everything happened as normal and as planned," said the German.

"Obviously, the Williams were there, but they were doing a faster out lap than we were planning on. We just did our normal out lap really.

"I think that the team set out clear instructions, and I think the instructions to hold came from both sides. From my side, I think there's no real reason to be upset in any way."

 

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes F1 engine tweaks have cured high-altitude weakness
Previous article

Mercedes F1 engine tweaks have cured high-altitude weakness

Next article

Tost can't "understand anything" about Tsunoda incident

Tost can't "understand anything" about Tsunoda incident
Load comments
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022