Mazepin feeling "quite lost" with difficult Haas F1 aero package

Nikita Mazepin feels “quite lost” with the set-up direction of the Haas Formula 1 car, saying it has one of the most difficult aerodynamic packages he has ever driven.

Mazepin feeling "quite lost" with difficult Haas F1 aero package

Mazepin moved up from Formula 2 to make his F1 debut with Haas at the start of the year, but has managed to beat team-mate Mick Schumacher just once in both qualifying and races at the eight events so far this season.

The Russian driver revealed last week that he was driving a slightly heavier car than Schumacher, something he thought had “quite an impact”, with Haas set to give him a new chassis after the summer break.

Mazepin sampled a number of different set-ups for the Haas VF-21 car at the Red Bull Ring last week throughout practice, only to return to the baseline set-up for qualifying.

Speaking after Friday’s running for the Austrian Grand Prix, Mazepin admitted he was finding it “quite frustrating” working with the “extreme” set-ups that he struggled to make sense of.

“With this car, I would say it’s probably one of the most difficult aero packages I’ve ever driven,” Mazepin said.

“And the issue with the set-ups is that they don’t really make sense to what feedback they give. Therefore, I’m quite lost in that respect.

“Coming from junior formulas, more aero balance means more oversteer, but in F1, it definitely doesn’t mean that. It gives different ways the tyres work during the lap, and it’s also things that affect the warm-up.

“So I don’t want to be too boring, but it’s quite extreme, and it’s not very straightforward, I would say.”

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Mazepin finished last in both FP1 and FP2 on Friday at the Red Bull Ring, trailing Schumacher by two-tenths of a second in the afternoon session.

Asked what he could do to try and get on top of the issues, Mazepin said he wanted to try and gain a better understanding of the engineering involved to try and aid communication with his crew.

“I probably need a little bit of engineering classes,” Mazepin said.

“I’ve always gone with the approach that a driver does his job and the engineers do theirs, but at the moment, I think we speak a bit of a different language.

“I’m going to study, without joking, quite a few details of that to understand how I can also advise the team on making the car better.

“Because I think the way it’s working now is not very promising.”

shares
comments

Related video

Ricciardo "not going to panic" over Austria Friday form for McLaren
Previous article

Ricciardo "not going to panic" over Austria Friday form for McLaren

Next article

Why Mercedes isn't fooled it's ahead of Red Bull despite Austrian GP practice pace

Why Mercedes isn't fooled it's ahead of Red Bull despite Austrian GP practice pace
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022