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Mazepin "not in the bad books" as no F1 rule broken

Mazepin "not in the bad books" as no F1 rule broken

F1 News

Mazepin "not in the bad books" as no F1 rule broken

Mazepin "not in the bad books" as no F1 rule broken
Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

Nikita Mazepin claims he has avoided being "in the bad books" of team principal Guenther Steiner after making contact with Haas team-mate Mick Schumacher during Sunday's Dutch Grand Prix.

At Zandvoort, Mazepin made a late move to block Schumacher on the start-finish straight that resulted in damage to the German's front wing.

Haas has attempted to 'draw a line' on the rules of engagement between the two drivers, but Mazepin remains adamant his defence was within the regulations.

“It’s good to know that I’m not in the bad books so that is positive," said Mazepin. "But I want to respect the privacy of those discussions.

“The doors were closed and I don’t think it would be comfortable for all parties if it was an open discussion so I will keep it in.”

Asked if the discussions had resulted in a change in the team's policy with regard to on-track battles, Mazepin pointed to the FIA rule books.

“They have not because we have deemed that I have not broken any sort of rules or [recorded any] violations within the FIA sporting and racing regulations," he explained.

“Therefore, I think we’re going to work as a team to try and fix that."

In a clearly pointed remark to Schumacher's incident, he added: "But perhaps sometimes you need to lift when you see that there is a bollard in front of you instead of damaging your car but we will see.”

F1 drivers are drivers, not stewards

Mazepin has come under fire from a number of drivers across his rookie season for supposed violations of gentlemen's agreements and for manoeuvres believed to be on or over the line.

But he has insisted it is the FIA and the stewards who write the rules not the drivers.

"Obviously, we are here as racing drivers and I think it is incorrect when drivers put themselves above the stewards and driver's advisors and say what they should have done because that is not their position," added Mazepin.

“But at the same time, I respect the rules a lot and what the rules say in the book is that unless a significant portion of the car behind is side by side to you, you are not entitled [obliged] to leave a car width and you are entitled to make a move from the left to the right because you are still in front and can make your position safely.

“That has been the case for many, many years and I respect so and I am going to keep doing so.”

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