Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has revealed rookie driver Nikita Mazepin was left "pretty beat up" by his race-ending lap-one error in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Mazepin endured a tortuous Formula 1 debut weekend as he was slower than team-mate Mick Schumacher in every session, spun twice in practice and twice more in qualifying.
Starting from 19th on the grid - with only Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel behind him due to a penalty - Mazepin's first F1 race lasted just three corners as he spun again, colliding with a barrier and damaging both the front and rear of the VF-21.
Steiner has confirmed to putting a comforting arm around his driver as Mazepin was particularly upset with his error-strewn weekend.
“He was pretty beat up," said Steiner. "I just said to him to keep his head up and keep on going. For sure, it is not ideal what happened but it happened so he beats himself up pretty badly.
“He is ready to go again so we pushed him up again but otherwise Mick did a good job. At least we got half of it achieved what we wanted to achieve. Fifty per cent there.”
Asked if the earlier spins from his weekend had caused Mazepin to be "over-motivated" to make early progress through the order and take risks, Steiner was considered in his response.
“He pushed a little bit harder but I think that’s his character more than anything else, just to try to find the limit and sometimes you go over it," added Steiner.
"I’m not really surprised about that because he tries to do the best he can and obviously, our car is not easy to drive.
"I think he is one of these guys where he just tries very hard.”
What do you think?
Meanwhile everyone else is laughing at him. True show of his driving ability. Probably best that he crashed, on his own, on corner 3 as he would have only taken someone else out later in the race.
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