Uralkali Haas F1 Team driver Nikita Mazepin classified 18th, while Mick Schumacher was an early retirement at the 2021 Formula 1 Mexico Grand Prix, Round 18 at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Mazepin took the start from 15th on Pirelli’s P Zero Yellow medium tires and gained positions through a chaotic opening sequence of turns to sit on the cusp of the top 10. Mazepin came in on lap 13 of 71 for a set of White hard tires and then opted for a second stop on lap 61 for mediums in order to get out of a cycle of blue flags. Mazepin came across the line in 18th place.
Schumacher started from 14th on the grid on medium tires but unfortunately, his race came to an end on the opening lap. As the field tried to avoid the spinning Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas at the exit of turn one contact was made between Schumacher and the Alpine of Esteban Ocon. That collision caused terminal damage to the rear-left suspension of Schumacher’s VF-21 and he was forced to halt the car.
Upfront Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claimed his ninth win of the season with a commanding drive, ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, with local hero Sergio Perez third.
Uralkali Haas F1 Team’s 2021 Formula 1 season will continue with the São Paulo Grand Prix, at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, from November 12 to 14.
Nikita Mazepin, Driver No. 9
It was a very long race. We had a good start, we got through nicely and the first part of the race was going well. Then we decided to protect from Williams and unfortunately, our pit stop was too slow – we just got done by them but I think we had the pace to probably keep them behind considering how hard it is to overtake on this track. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I felt that as we had less downforce than we’d like it was really difficult to follow cars closely when you get overtaken by blue flags – after that it was a tough race.
Mick Schumacher, Driver No. 47
I saw a lot of smoke and normally that isn’t a good sign. I didn’t want to be face-on so I decided to go to the middle and unfortunately, there were already cars there and we all got bunched up, and I made contact with Esteban Ocon. It’s unfortunate but these things happen – it’s not the first time it’s happened in my career and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I was looking forward to driving here and learning, next year hopefully we’ll have a better car and can attack more. We can always take positives.
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Uralkali Haas F1 Team
A tough weekend. Mick retired during the first lap, obviously, there was nothing to do and it was a racing incident that happens when you’re trying to do your best. With Nikita, he stuck in there and got the best out of it as possible. We had a bit of a slow pit stop – we wanted to come out in front of Latifi – and it didn’t work out so we ended up where we ended up, but he learned a lot about tire management. Now it’s on to the next one.