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Mazepin ‘needs to find that limit,’ says Steiner

Nikita Mazepin at Imola. Credits: Getty Images

After Nikita Mazepin spun twice in this morning’s free practice session, Haas’ team boss, Guenther Steiner, spoke his mind saying the young Russian is probably getting judged too early considering his little experience in Formula 1.

Mazepin spun twice this morning, the first one almost had no consequences on the car as the Russian was stopped by the gravel trap. However, his second loss of control was more concerning, as he damaged his car right in front of the pit entry.

Steiner already pointed out the fact that Haas engaged two rookies for the 2021 season and that they will both have to acclimatize to the behavior of an F1 single-seater before being able to push their limits. However, a pattern slowly seems to repeat itself, after Nikita Mazepin spun once more behind the wheel of his VF-21.

“At some stage, they [the spins] need to be reduced, but he’s trying very hard for that – and I guess he’s trying sometimes a little bit too hard,” said Steiner.

“He needs to find that limit. But that’s for him to find, not us. We can help him in doing that, but it’s one of these things that I’ve said before: learning is painful,” he added.

The 56-year-old remains protective with his young recruit, as he thinks it is still too early to judge him or say that the transition between F2 and F1 was too fast for him, pointing out that failing is part of the learning process. 

“Obviously, we’re not planning to spin the car, but on the other side, it’s part of the learning. So I don’t want to put a number or time on anything of this. This will sort itself out in my opinion,” Haas’ team boss stated.

“Maybe F2 to F1 is still a difficult step, but Bahrain was very difficult conditions as well. (…) I think we jump to a conclusion too early. (…) We are in our second FP1 this season, so to judge somebody on this, it’s a little bit early.”

Steiner also keeps it real, admitting that the VF-21 is not the easiest car to drive in the paddock and that it is especially hard to handle in windy conditions.

“In Bahrain, I would say that he had to learn also the wind conditions, and in Bahrain [they] were very rough,” he said. “Our car was already last year very bad in windy conditions, so just to understand that, that caused a few spins, and Mick had one in the race as well.”

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