Steiner: "Exaggerated" Mazepin-Schumacher rivalry is not personal

Gunther Steiner feels the rivalry between Haas Formula 1 drivers Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher is not personal and "exaggerated" by the team's current performance ahead of talks at Monza.

Steiner: "Exaggerated" Mazepin-Schumacher rivalry is not personal

Steiner is set to meet with Mazepin and Schumacher on Thursday ahead of the Italian Grand Prix after two incidents between them at Zandvoort last weekend.

Mazepin said that Schumacher ruined his qualifying by breaking team protocol and passing him on their out lap, but Schumacher claimed he had been given permission to make the overtake.

In the race, Schumacher felt "very angry" about Mazepin's late defensive move on the main straight at the end of the first lap, and acknowledged there was "room for improvement" in their relationship. Mazepin himself said there were "no problems" with Schumacher.

Addressing the situation ahead of the Thursday meeting at Monza, Haas F1 boss Steiner made clear his commitment to resolving the matter to prevent any future issues emerging.

"What happened last week, we had a meeting on Sunday, we will have another meeting today," Steiner said.

"We'll work on it and get that problem sorted as well, as we did with a lot of other things.

"I just want to make sure that the two guys get a good understanding of how they should race, and that they can learn to avoid the situations that don't help anybody, the least it helps them."

Steiner added: "I don't really care what they do in their private life, if they are friends or not. But on the race track, they need to perform for the team.

"If you take them both not together, they all agree with that. We just have to find an agreement when they're both in the room. That is what we are working on. There are a lot of team-mates which are not good friends.

"We just need to make it work. They are young, and they need to understand that, and then they can move on together in the same team."

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Haas currently sits at the bottom of the F1 constructors' championship after failing to score any points this year, but is treating 2021 as a transition season, opting against car development so it can place full focus on next year's regulations.

It has left Mazepin and Schumacher only racing each other most of the time at the back of the field, something Steiner felt was fanning the flames of the rivalry.

"I don't think it's personal, I think it's circumstances," Steiner said.

"As I continue to say, we are fighting with nobody else than between the two of them. Therefore, this is exaggerated, this fight. There is nothing else to fight.

"If you had been in the mix with another three or four cars, you wouldn't see this, because if you do this move to not your team-mate, or if you race hard with not your team-mate, that doesn't make a difference. But if it's with your team-mate, it's almost personal.

"But they have nobody else to fight, so that is what they focus on. That seems to be, in my opinion, one of the issues there. There is nothing else around it."

shares
comments

Related video

Vettel ‘not worried’ about Aston Martin F1 future, expects news soon

Previous article

Vettel ‘not worried’ about Aston Martin F1 future, expects news soon

Next article

Hulkenberg sees no chance of making F1 comeback in 2022

Hulkenberg sees no chance of making F1 comeback in 2022
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021