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Mazepin ‘beating himself up’ over Bahrain disaster, says Steiner

Mick Schumacher of Germany and Haas F1 and Nikita Mazepin of Russia and Haas F1 stand on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 28, 2021 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Haas F1 Team boss Guenther Steiner said rookie Nikita Mazepin is “beating himself up” over his first lap crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix. However, the Russian was given the confidence by Steiner and is “ready to go again.”

“I just said to him to keep his head up and keep on going,” said Steiner. “For sure, it’s not ideal what happened, but it happened. He beats himself up pretty badly but he is ready to go again.

When asked by if Mazepin was trying too hard to prove his critics wrong, Steiner said “it’s a question [which] is difficult to answer, because I didn’t really think about that way.

“You always want to prove yourself, right? I don’t know how much it affects you. He seemed to be in a pretty good place when we started testing.

“I wouldn’t put it down purely to that, but for sure it is never an advantage to have a winter like [the one] he had.”

Steiner said Nikita just “pushed a little bit harder,” but that it lies on his character and not on how hard the car is to drive, however, the VF21 does prove to be a difficult machine as Mick Schumacher also spun during the race.

“Nikita pushed a little bit harder, but I think that’s his character for more than anything else. You try to find the limit and sometimes you go over it.

“I’m not really surprised about that, because you try to do the best you can and obviously our car is not easy to drive. I think he’s one of these guys, well, he just tries very hard.

“I think both of them went on the throttle too harsh, you know, and they then went on the curb or something like this. These cars are so powerful and when the torque kicks in, you get a kick and you cannot recover anymore.

“They will spin again, but not in the way they did today. This was a new experience, in a race, trying to fight with other cars and sometimes being a little bit too optimistic.

“But otherwise, Mick did a good job. So at least we got half of it achieved [of] what we wanted to achieve,” Steiner concluded.

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