(Motorsport-Total.com) – Mixed start, strong end – this is how Mick Schumacher’s race at the Styrian Grand Prix can be summed up in a nutshell. The Haas rookie showed a good performance in Spielberg, especially on the hard tires, and clearly won the team duel with his team-mate Nikita Masepin.
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Mick Schumacher had his teammates under control
On the track there was another duel between the two, but this time everything went without incident. “We left space, everything was good, we also had an internal conversation, everything was good, too,” says Schumacher. There were two direct duels, but the first time Schumacher immediately lost his position after braking at Turn 4.
“I didn’t quite understand the tire stand, I think I got a gust from behind that pushed me a little bit more into the curve,” said Schumacher on ‘Sky’.
Schumacher loses position to Masepin in turn 3
The fact that he had to overtake Masepin at all was due to the events in Turn 3 on the first lap. Right at the start, he kept ahead of Masepin before he had to give up his position a few meters later.
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“I took the wrong line at Turn 3, I was behind Esteban [Ocon] and in front of us there was this accident in which I had to brake hard and then I was trapped behind it, so to speak, “explains the 22-year-old.
After that it was difficult to drive after Masepin. “In the dirty air it was hard to follow, especially in the fast corners. That also raised the temperature in the tires, which made our lives difficult. But as soon as we were in the open air and nobody was in front of us, the pace was instant there, “he says.
Schumacher: We were able to keep up with Aston Martin
Masepin came to the pit stop on lap 21, at Schumacher the team chose a different strategy. The German did not change tires until twelve laps later. Although Masepin was ahead after that, Schumacher quickly closed the gap on the fresh tires. But that’s not all: the lap times weren’t just good internally at Haas, he says.
“The second stint in particular was very good on the hard tire, I was also very happy with the behavior of the car and the pace we had, especially compared to the Aston Martin. We were behind but were able to maintain the lap times”, describes Schumacher.
F1: Grand Prix of Styria (Spielberg) 2021 – Sunday
In fact, in the first laps after his pit stop, Schumacher’s lap times ranged from low to medium 1:10 times and was thus roughly on par with Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel, who also had to struggle with lapping.
Masepin: Like a carrot waiting for the rabbit
Then on lap 42 Schumacher with DRS passed Masepin on the straight up to Turn 3. “I felt like a carrot waiting to be caught by the rabbit. And unfortunately I was caught,” explains Masepin.
After that, Schumacher pulled away in seven-league boots, while Masepin suffered. “I was overtaken and I f ***, if you are overtaken, you lose tire temperature, you get into the dirt. And that is all very painful,” explains Masepin, why he was almost 30 seconds behind Schumacher.
Zoff between Mick Schumacher & Masepin
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“I just thought, when I was in the car, if I can wish for one thing for Christmas, it would be to finish on the same lap as the others,” he complained.
Steiner defends Masepin: 30 seconds are nothing
Team boss Günther Steiner confirms the problem and protects his driver. “We were able to keep him away from the first blue flags with the pit stop, but there was only one stop. That meant he got on the train the second time and he had to let ten cars or so by. And when that happens, half a minute is done nothing, “explains the South Tyrolean.
According to Steiner, Masepin and Schumacher had a similar pace before the Russian got into the lap. (AD: You can only see Formula 1 live on TV in Germany on Sky. For those who decide to make a last-minute decision, this can be done quickly and without a receiver in the live stream via a Sky Ticket!)
Incidentally, the German himself stated that he would not have any major problems when lapping. “It’s relatively easy for me to find my way back in. And of course it’s not a fight in the front, so I prefer to get out of the way and let them do their fight. I get more of it when I can do my laps and drive cleanly, as if I were trying to stay in front on the last groove, “he says.