Nikita Mazepin admits that the Monaco Grand Prix has been a big psychological challenge for him.
The opening 4 races of the 2021 season have been difficult for the rookie Mazepin – he was outpaced by his teammate Mick Schumacher, had multiple incidents, and got a lot of criticism.
Ahead of the Monaco GP the Haas driver was expected to keep the unfortunate streak alive, but he went on to have his best weekend so far. However, he admitted that he felt some pressure because of the track’s nature.
“The race is very intense. Ever since I started racing single-seaters I didn’t have so much required concentration, because on this track – even though we’re one of the slowest or the slowest team – everything flies by so much,” he said.
“There was a moment when I was going through Turn 14 and I just felt like I touched the wall and that’s where Charles [Leclerc] went off. So there was really no margin for mistakes,” he added.
Mazepin was also happy to see progress comparing to the Spanish GP.
“The car was quite difficult to drive very fast out there but we’ve made good progress within my internal team in Haas from Barcelona onwards and I would say that it’s a very positive picture,” he commented.
“I’m very fortunate that I was able to spend some good analytical time post-Barcelona with my team because with the package that we had in Barcelona I think going into [Monaco] would have been a disaster, so we did the necessary changes and it’s looking much better now.”