The dialectical and aggression escalation between the two Haas team drivers, which had been in crescendo during the season, added a new chapter in a series at Monza that looks to end badly. “We do not accept these behaviors, such things should not happen, we will have to fix this situation very quickly ”. That was how forceful it was Günther Steiner, the Haas team leader already at the end of the last Dutch Grand Prix to try to get its pilots to behave and stop for the good of the team the escalation of aggressiveness between Schumacher and Mazepin. A week later, in Monza, the Russian and the German showed how little attention they pay to their boss because they both went back to their old ways.
Without a doubt, it is a very difficult ballot that Steiner is entrusted with, continually tuning bagpipes between two children who were imposed on him as pilots of his team and who are both having a more than doubtful behavior. Haas stands thanks to money from Nikita Mazepin’s father and It totally depends on Ferrari for the technical part, since it provides him almost the entire car as far as the regulations allow, in addition to paying the salary of Mick Schumacher.
Although to calm the troubled waters the Italian engineer tried to show at the end of the last Italian Grand Prix that the animosity between the two is magnified from the outside, the tension is more than evident, with familiar speakers on both sides always ready to comment.
Steiner tries to be neutral
With that total economic and sporting dependence on the godparents of his two pilots, it is logical that Steiner did not want to position himself in favor of Nikita or Mick, at least publicly. Because if we try to be objective, it also seems that neither is blameless or, rather, it could be said that both are almost equally guilty.
The frictions between Schumacher Jr. and the controversial Mazepin go back a long way, even before the clash that both had in the Baku Grand Prix. And the main root of the problem could be summed up in that Neither Mazepin is as darn bad as it was talked about at the beginning of the year, nor is Michael’s son that mega-star with a splendid future at Ferrari that many ventured.
The problems between the two drivers who completely unleashed this ‘civil war’ arose in the qualifying session of the Dutch Grand Prix, where Mazepin accused Schumacher of having destroyed his options on purpose: “It was my turn to be the first car for Avoid traffic, we must not forget that the team in Imola scolded me once for not respecting this agreement, well, now is the second time that my teammate overtakes me, leaves me at the mercy of traffic and ruins me By the way, the classification attempt. If you do it once, ok, it may be a mistake, if you do it again it is deliberate. ” Schumacher It was quite different from that of the Russian pilot: “I don’t know what he’s talking about and I don’t know if he was informed from his wall. I asked if I could overtake him because my tires were quite cold, and usually he always does a slower lap than mine and I got the OK. There is no reason to make a drama with it, for my part I did not do anything wrong ”.
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) September 12, 2021
The German’s point of arrogance in his statements, with that ‘usually (Nikita) is slower than me’, was the perfect breeding ground for Mazepin to race fired up and wanting to take revenge on his unacceptable attitude for him. partner. Said and done. As soon as the race started, the Russian overtook the German and when he tried to overtake him, the Muscovite hit him with a violent bolt that damaged his front wing and ended his chances of a good race there. Almost a carbon copy of what happened a week later in Monza, although in this case there were slight apologies from Mazepin, which seemed more forced by their bosses than sincere on their part.
At the end of the Dutch race, Mazepin responded to his partner in a very cavalier way when asked about the incident, while Schumacher was the one who was crying out angrily against the Russian driver and demanding action against him from stewards and members of his team. “It is not justified,” argued the German driver, the fact that I pushed against the wall and cornered me against the pitlane. We will have to discuss it later with the team, because Nikita seems to have it in his head to be ahead of me at any cost and it seems fine to me, but I think it was not the right way ”. Surely, within Haas’ walls there must have been some kind of ultimatum after the new coup of both in Italy, because things were visibly getting out of hand.
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) September 12, 2021
Not so bad, not so good
Mick should be reminded that this toughness on the track was always more evident with his father than with any other driver. And also, the first mission of a pilot is to be faster than your partner. Certainly, Nikita Mazepin is not the resurrection of Nuvolari, but as the season progresses he has been committing fewer mistakes and being closer and closer to his illustrious partner, if not punctually surpassing him. Something that is undoubtedly unnerving Schumacher lately, when he observes that his star is fading by not contributing to the team more than his teammate, one of the most maligned in the recent history of the competition.
The issue began to become more acute after the Hungarian GP when Gunther Steiner himself had to give the Ferrari Driver Acdemy a public wake-up call due to the addition of too many (and costly) mistakes: “Mick has had too many failures in the last five races. These things happen in races, but having an accident like the one you had in the last free practice session is something that cannot be repeated. Not only because of the economic impact that accidents like this have, but because there was no reason to risk so much at that time, “said the HAAS Principal Team angrily, who at the same time praised Mazepin, acknowledging that after some very difficult and erratic starts little by little he was settling in the specialty.
The better, the worse for the other
It shouldn’t be easy for Schumacher Jr. to live with the heavy slab of his last name, nor does it help to drive the worst car on the grid. However, when you share a team with a pilot whom the press and fans consider to be dependent on his father’s wallet, you are expected to crush him relentlessly. May all the errors always fall on the other side of the box, more or less like Russell with Latifi, or Alonso with Tarso Marques when he debuted in Minardi. The more evident it is that Mazepin does not measure up, the more in evidence Schumacher remains if the advantage over his partner is not sidereal.
Nikita Mazepin works hard to get accepted into F1 as a Lance Stroll. He is not a megastar but he is a pilot who lives up to the task. Mick Schumacher works to be that next megastar in the motoring sky, but if he does not dominate his partner, his price will decline. It does not seem clear that either of the two will achieve their objective, but it is not easy to opt for this ‘civil war’ by either side. The only bet that does seem safe is that in 2022 they will not share a team, although in this changing world of Formula 1, who knows?