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 Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Plus

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to STUART CODLING, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
May 14, 2021
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021