Mazepin’s first weekend in F1 went from bad to worse when he lost control on the curbs of Turn 2 at the start, veered into barriers and ended his first race after less than a mile.
Mazepin took full responsibility for his mistake, saying his team “deserved better”.
Team principal Steiner said Mazepin was “pretty beaten” after his early retirement, but there is no doubt the Russian will try to bounce back at Imola.
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1, with Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
“I just told him to hold his head up and keep going,” Steiner said.
“Of course, what happened is not ideal, but it has happened. He is fighting badly enough but he is ready to go again.”
Asked by Autosport if Mazepin was trying too hard to prove his many critics wrong, Steiner replied that Mazepin “was well placed” before his debut.
“It’s a question [which] It’s hard to answer, because I haven’t really thought about it, ”Steiner replied.
“You still want to prove yourself, don’t you? I don’t know how much that affects you. He seemed to be in a pretty good position when we started testing.
“I wouldn’t limit myself to just that, but for sure it’s never an advantage to have a winter like this.”
The Haas VF21 seems like a tough car to drive at the limit, as evidenced by teammate and other rookie Mick Schumacher who also turned during the race on his way to a distant 16th place.
“Nikita pushed a little harder, but I think that’s her character for more than anything else. You try to find the limit and sometimes you go over it.
“I’m not really surprised at that, because you’re trying to do your best and obviously our car isn’t easy to drive. I think he’s one of those guys, well he’s just trying very strong.
“I think they both put the throttle on too hard, you know, and then they went to the sidewalk or something. These cars are so powerful and when the torque kicks in you get a kick out and you can’t get them back. more.”
Haas’ lack of competitiveness made it a difficult environment for two newcomers, and Steiner admitted that his inexperience in training came with risks.
“Yeah, I think when you fight they have to learn this fight. I think it’s about experience. I don’t think they will do it again,” he added.
“They’ll be spinning again, but not like they did today. It was a new experience, in a race, trying to fight with other cars and being a little too optimistic at times.
“But otherwise, Mick did a good job. So at least we got half of what he wanted to accomplish.”