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Mazepin reveals Steiner chat led to Monaco “breakthrough”

Mazepin reveals Steiner chat led to Monaco “breakthrough”

F1 News

Mazepin reveals Steiner chat led to Monaco “breakthrough”

Mazepin reveals Steiner chat led to Monaco “breakthrough”
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Nikita Mazepin has revealed a change in “the way of working” with Haas led to the step-change in performance he achieved at the last race in Monaco.

After stepping up from F2 alongside Mick Schumacher this year, Mazepin then had a calamitous debut in Bahrain, culminating in him crashing on the opening lap, before continuing to struggle in the following three races.

In Monaco, though, the Russian driver finished ahead of Schumacher for the first time, explaining ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix that it was a discussion with team principal Guenther Steiner that led to the change.

Asked if that race was a breakthrough, Mazepin said: “Yeah, for sure. I probably didn’t expect it to be so sudden but big steps or small steps, as long as we’re moving forwards that’s what I’m aiming for.

“It’s something I’ve discussed with Guenther [related to] the way of working with my engineers and the team in general and he supported me. Hopefully, we’ve agreed that that way of working is positive and we can carry [on] that trend.”

Mazepin, who brings Russian sponsorship with him to the team, has been criticised for his behaviour off track, most notably due to a controversial post he made on social media shortly after his appointment last year, as well as for his performances on it.

The 22-year-old, however, feels he has already learned a considerable amount, adding: “I remember Guenther saying to me at the first race that it will be incredible how much you’ll be able to say to yourself that you have learned in the first five races.

“I can see that this wise advice has really come true. I am much more comfortable in the car than the first time I got to know it.

"In the last few rounds, we’ve taken a very positive upwards curve in my little team. We go to the track every morning smiling so we’re in a good place.”

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