Mazepin explains how he ‘almost crashed’ following Giovinazzi

Nikita Mazepin says he “almost crashed” following Antonio Giovinazzi on-track on Saturday in Bahrain as he tested how much downforce is lost when driving behind other Formula 1 cars.

Mazepin explains how he ‘almost crashed’ following Giovinazzi

Haas driver Mazepin continued his preparations for his debut season by completing the early session on Saturday during Bahrain testing, completing 76 laps in total.

The Russian driver set the seventh-fastest time of the morning, but almost lost control of his car exiting Turn 3 while closely following Alfa Romeo’s Giovinazzi during the session. He was able to catch the car as it veered to the right before dropping back.

Mazepin explained that he wanted to follow another car closely to see how much downforce is lost in F1 when not in clean air, with testing marking his first chance to drive the 2021 Haas on-track with other cars.

“It's a known topic that Formula 1 cars have a lot of downforce and do lose a lot of downforce following other cars,” Mazepin said when asked about the moment with Giovinazzi by Autosport.

“With such limited running and obviously a lot of cars being most likely in front of me at the start of the race in Bahrain, I wanted to experience the amount of downforce that I will lose.

“I did get to experience that. I almost crashed, to be honest, because the wind snap was huge. It was a bit of a worrying moment, but good to try.

“Antonio was on a lower fuel run, and was doing, you know, not consecutive laps, when I was going through the whole race distance, and my pace was slower. So he overtook me.

“I wanted to stay behind and learn my way through.”

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The loss of downforce following other cars is a big challenge drivers face in F1, and is greater than what Mazepin would have experienced in F2 over the past two years.

Mazepin said he was already feeling a “very big difference” from what he was racing last year during his first F1 test.

“Currently, I think there's a very big difference, but it's not a surprise to me,” Mazepin said.

“F2 does have a lot of downforce as well. It's a heavier car. So there are small gains here and there.

“But it's not the new thing to me, because races are more difficult.”

shares
comments

Related video

Leclerc: 2021 Ferrari showing "promising signs"

Previous article

Leclerc: 2021 Ferrari showing "promising signs"

Next article

AlphaTauri F1 team accepts Bahrain COVID-19 vaccine

AlphaTauri F1 team accepts Bahrain COVID-19 vaccine
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Haas F1 Team
Author Luke Smith
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021