Haas: Drivers should listen, not try to be strategists

Haas Formula 1 boss Gunther Steiner says his drivers should listen and stop trying to be strategists, following the latest incident between Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher.

Haas: Drivers should listen, not try to be strategists

Mazepin was left annoyed in qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix when he was refused a request to overtake his teammate during a preparation lap in Q1.

When told he could not, he responded on the radio: "Are you having a laugh?"

Haas' chief race engineer Ayao Komatsu intervened and made clear the team was not joking, and told the Russian that he should drop back if he wanted a gap.

Mazepin felt it was unfair that he was turned down the request to move ahead of Schumacher, whereas his teammate was allowed to do exactly that to help better prepare his tyres at the Dutch Grand Prix.

"In the previous event in the Netherlands, we could exchange positions, and he's been given a green light, where I've been given a red light," explained Mazepin.

But Steiner does not think comparisons with what happened at Zandvoort are fair.

He is clear that one of the lessons from after that event was that the pitwall had final say on matters, because it was better able to judge the bigger picture of traffic than the drivers could in the cockpit.

"I think it was clear after Zandvoort, we discussed it," said Steiner. "We said that we [on the pitwall] will look in to what is going to happen, because we see a lot more than they see.

"We saw that there was no point [to let him through], because even if Nikita overtakes Mick, he will be stuck behind the Williams. So there is no gain there. And then his tyre temps were okay.

"So it was just like: no, stay where you are because otherwise we take a risk, going over the finish line and having our two cars drag racing down the straight and both losing out in Turn 1.

"In the end actually it ended up better for Nikita, because Mick got in traffic in the last turns, and he didn't. But he does not know that."

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Steiner said Haas was always making decisions in the best interest of the team, and was not favouring one driver over the other.

"We just try to do the best, because what I always tell them: guys, we see a lot more than you. So do not try to be now the race strategist or anything. Just listen.

"Obviously his [Mazepin's] reaction was, I think, in the heat of the moment, he wanted to know more. And then it was just like, no: this is what you are doing."

Read Also:

Mazepin spoke to the team about the incident after qualifying and said it had not impacted his relationship, while Schumacher was also far from fussed about matters.

"Certainly from our side, everything happened as normal and as planned," said the German.

"Obviously, the Williams were there, but they were doing a faster out lap than we were planning on. We just did our normal out lap really.

"I think that the team set out clear instructions, and I think the instructions to hold came from both sides. From my side, I think there's no real reason to be upset in any way."

shares
comments

Related video

Horner wants to avoid "action replay" of 2019 Mexico F1 clash
Previous article

Horner wants to avoid "action replay" of 2019 Mexico F1 clash

Next article

Tost: Tsunoda did nothing wrong in Mexico F1 qualifying fracas

Tost: Tsunoda did nothing wrong in Mexico F1 qualifying fracas
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023