Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher classified 17th and 18th respectively at the Monaco Grand Prix, Round 5 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Sunday’s Grand Prix marked a return to Monaco’s streets after a year’s absence and for both Mazepin and Schumacher it marked their first experience in Formula 1 machinery. The rookie pairing opted for Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires for the first stint and battled clearly on the opening lap, with Schumacher holding 18th position and Mazepin 19th. A suspected fuel pressure pick-up issue slowed Schumacher and he ceded track position to his teammate while the setback worked to a resolution.
A one-stop strategy was the order for both drivers, with Mazepin coming in on lap 36 of 78, cycling through to White hard tires, and Schumacher making the same move three laps later. Mazepin and Schumacher duly preserved their positions through to the checkered flag, registering 17th and 18th respectively, to rack up another finish aboard the VF-21s.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen dominated proceedings to claim victory, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz second and McLaren’s Lando Norris third.
Uralkali Haas F1 Team will next be in action at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, to be held at the Baku City Circuit, from June 4 to 6.
The race was very intense. Ever since I started racing in single-seaters I haven’t had so much required concentration, because on this track, even though we’re one of the slowest teams, everything flies by so much. There was a moment when I was going through turn 14, I just felt like I touched the wall, and that’s where Charles (Leclerc) went off yesterday, I mean there was just really no margin for mistakes. The car was quite difficult to drive fast out there but we’ve made good progress within my internal team since Barcelona and that’s a very positive picture.
We had a small issue for a few laps and unfortunately, I lost a lot of time to the guys ahead and I had to let Nikita (Mazepin) by because we didn’t manage to fix it before. After that the pace was quite good, I felt we were quite close to matching the pace in the midfield which was good, and we caught up to Nikita. We didn’t do a switchback which was ok, it was understandable – obviously, we had quite a few guys behind us so there was going to be blue flags. Overall, lots learned this weekend, with some positives and some negatives but we live and we learn I guess. I’m already looking forward to Baku.
It’s a good thing at this race that we got to the end of it with both cars unharmed. Mick (Schumacher) had a temporary power issue which we think was related to the fuel pressure pick up, it was unfortunate, but he was able to keep going at least. We did good laps and the guys learned a lot about Monte Carlo – which is always a tough race. Obviously, there was no big event that happened that would have allowed us any opportunity. Once you start to get into the blue flags, tire temperatures come down and you just keep falling back, and that’s what happened to us today. Onwards and upwards – ready for the next one.
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