The 2021 FIA Formula 1 season finally got underway in the middle east with the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Uralkali Haas F1 team entered the weekend looking for a fresh start after a tough 2020 season, one that saw the team release both veteran drivers, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
Haas F1 Team: Breathing New Life in 2021
Romain Grosjean had made the tough decision to leave Formula One following his horrific crash in Bahrain one year ago, so his leaving Haas F1 Team was a mutual decision and understandably so. Kevin Magnussen was a decision made when owner Gene Haas wanted to find new talent and breath new life into a team that has struggled the past couple of seasons.
The 2021 Season got off to a rough start once again for owner Gene Haas and Team Principal Guenther Steiner. The team had issues in qualifying and both Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher were starting at the rear of the grid.
Haas F1 Team: Bahrain GP Provides Lessons
On Sunday, the race didn’t provide much positivity as Nikita Mazepin did not finish the race, and Schumacher spun out. Luckily there was no damage to the car and he was able to continue, finishing in 16th place. Growing pains are to be expected as both drivers enter their first full season as Formula One drivers, as learning lessons is part of the growth.
Mazepin was not pleased with himself following the spin-out in Bahrain, acknowledging his mistake which took him out of the race early. In the post-race recap with the Haas F1 team, Mazepin had this to say about his debut:
“It was very simple, I made a mistake. It was just one of those things. My start had been good, I got into turn one taking the outside line. I was then going through turn two and I was really trying to avoid Mick as he was close and got too much on power, the tires didn’t take it. They were cold, I got on the curb, took too much throttle, and spun. It was totally my mistake, it’s very disappointing. I’m very sorry for the team as they deserved to do much better than that. Obviously, there are always positives you can take – the learning experience is obviously there.”
The debut Grand Prix ended before it really even started for Mazepin but, there is no doubt that he will learn from the mistake and will be ready to improve at the Italian Grand Prix.
The young phenom Schumacher made mistakes of his own during the Bahrain Grand Prix, fortunately, his mistake did not cause any damage and he was able to finish the race, Schumacher finished in P16. Following the race, Mick Schumacher had this to say about his spin after the safety car restart:
“because of the mistake I made, the spin, at the safety car restart. Luckily the car was still drivable, everything was alright so I could keep going and continue to build on my experience through the race weekend. It was a bit of a shame that I wasn’t in the pack to be able to at least try to be close to the guys for a few laps. Fortunately, I did get through things like blue flags and I caught up to Nicholas Latifi so I was able to feel how it was to follow a car closely and have DRS. Overall, I feel like I’ve learned a lot, and hopefully, I’m able to convert that into something positive for the next race.”
Team Principal Guenther Steiner was prepared for the learning curve that’s to be expected when your two drivers are both rookies in Formula One. When asked about his race he had this to say:
“We had a 50 percent success rate today. Mick did a very good job, I think he learned a lot today, and the team learned a lot, the strategy’s working. Nikita, obviously, we all saw had a spin on the first lap which compromised his race. He doesn’t feel great about it, but we put it down as learning.”
Haas F1 Team: Looking Ahead to Italy, Imola
The Haas F1 Team sets its sights on Italy where they will race at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola. Both drivers will be looking to improve and with a couple of lessons learned in Bahrain, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin are both looking for competitive races and to be challenging for points at the end.
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images