Nikita Mazepin blames a brake-by-wire issue on his car causing him to spin twice in his first-ever F1 qualification.
The Russian driver spun a first time right in front of his teammate Mick Schumacher on his first-ever qualifying lap, before spinning a second time at the very end of Q1, penalizing Vettel who was not able to try a last flying lap to get himself into Q2.
Mazepin blames a brake-by-wire issue on his car that the team was trying to fix when he spun for the second time.
“I had an issue with brake by wire. I locked up on the rears, I’m not sure why, at Turn 1,” says the 22 years old Russian.
“The pedal just went long. We need to look into that. Something that I didn’t really expect and shouldn’t happen. I’ve never had it driving in the test before or free practice. Hopefully, that won’t happen tomorrow.” he added, justifying why he was caught off guard by this issue.
Mazepin also justified why he suddenly overtook a few cars that were in their preparation lap saying:
“Plus, if you would have noticed, I was held for a long time on the weighbridge, so I lost loads of time. My team told me there is not enough time to cross the start-finish line if I don’t go now. So I’m obviously the team’s driver, I’m doing as instructed and the instructions were to push. I pushed”
The Russian also specified he was not aware of the qualifying ‘gentlemen rule’ stating that you should not overtake your opponents while they are on their preparation lap.
“And to be very honest, I’ve never heard about this agreement before, however, I will take notice from now on.” he says.