Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin classified 18th and 19th, respectively, at the Austrian Grand Prix, Round 9 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, held at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday.
Schumacher started from 19th position on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires and escaped a slight brush with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon on the opening lap to hold 16th place. Schumacher stretched his stint on medium tires until lap 35 of the 71-lap race before pitting for a fresh set of the White hard rubber, which he preserved through to the checkered flag in 18th. The result ensured Schumacher maintained his 100 per cent finish record in Formula 1.
Mazepin also took the start on the medium compound and moved up one position at the expense of the retiring Ocon. In a race with little attrition ahead, Mazepin maintained 19th position, thereafter running a two-stop strategy. Mazepin pitted on lap 28 to switch to hard tires and came in again on lap 46 for another set of hards – conserving them through to the line to register his eighth successive finish with 19th place.
We went on alternative strategies – we went on two stops, which didn’t work. I think the drop off of the tires wasn’t as big as we were expecting but it was the blue flags. You’re not able to keep up your pace because you have to stop more. It was a long afternoon.
It was challenging – the softer tires meant that we had to do a bit more managing in general. There was a part of the race where our pace was matching what Alfa Romeo and Williams were doing, so it just seems that we weren’t able to consistently do those lap times. We will have to analyze what we can do better but nonetheless, I think we managed to learn something, especially at the beginning of the race. We had a good first lap and we were able to be in the mix right away in T1 and T2, so lots learned on that side and now we’re going into Silverstone with an open mind
It’s the end of our first triple-header this year – so, I think everybody’s ready to go home and get a little break before we get ready for the next race. We performed well as a team throughout this series of races, and obviously, we’ve got a few more triple-headers coming this season. We’ll be well prepared, but it is tiring once you’re into them. From today’s race, we had the result we expected. Both guys put in a solid performance, there’s just not a lot more in it for us at the moment. The learning is continuous, and the drivers are getting better.
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