Mazepin explained why he gets into accidents less often than Schumacher. And he confessed: the legs are still burning

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Mazepin explained why he gets into accidents less often than Schumacher. And he confessed: the legs are still burning

On the eve of the Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix, the Haas racer Nikita Mazepin traditionally held an online conference with representatives of the Russian media.

– Nikita, in qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix you had a disagreement with the command bridge about the circumstances under which you can overtake your partner on the warm-up lap. Since then, have you and your team managed to finalize all the scenarios?
– I succeeded and failed. After Zandvoort, I tried to come to a clear understanding of how we would act in similar situations – so that the rules were written in black and white. Unfortunately, such a compromise could not be found.

In general, the scenario is the same: in some races my car is the first, in others – the second. But sometimes there are opportunities that can give the copilot the right to overtake the first rider. The right to allow overtaking is reserved by the team. Due to the fact that there is such a right, I asked a question, received a fairly direct answer “no” to it and was left behind by Mick.

– So far, in the fight with your partner, the picture is not in your favor. How detailed do you analyze it and how does it change from track to track? What factors determine the size of the gap with Mick?
– From many. First of all, this is an acquaintance with the track and preparation before the weekend. In most cases, we come to the Grand Prix not as prepared as the drivers of the faster teams – Mercedes, Red Bull … Yes, in general, all of them, because nine F1 teams use a simulator, and we do not.

Also, the lag is due to the fact that this year’s car, as you know, does not have good characteristics. It’s harder for me to adapt to it, because the cars in which I competed and on which I prepared for F1 were very different in their characteristics and behavior.

The Haas aerodynamic package cannot be changed, we do not invest a single dollar in changing the characteristics of the car, so I just have to adapt to the car. Unfortunately, his behavior does not suit my driving style. I will try to change the situation next year.

– After the Mexican Grand Prix, you admitted that you are reliving a difficult moment in the season. Could you disclose what it is about, and how do you understand what needs to be done to get out of this state?
– There is no understanding yet. I hope every Thursday that Friday will be calmer and easier to work with, that our starting settings will suit the track and the car well. Unfortunately, over the last couple of weekends, we had to start by getting the car back into a format that allows me to go fast.

It was not easy, because my engineering team was changing: the racing engineer left, instead of him I worked with the chief. Ayao is a fantastic specialist, but we had no experience working together. Then the performance engineer changed. The team began to change during the season, and it is difficult for a new person to instantly integrate into the work environment, which affected work. Because of this, I had to constantly change something before the third workout on Saturday.

– Was it just a performance engineer that you saw off in Mexico when someone decided to stir up a scandal out of the blue on social networks?
– Yes, that event was dedicated to him. Perhaps someone heard my radio communications – I publicly thanked the engineer for the work we did together. We had a very good relationship. He went to Williams, we’ll miss him.

– You recently complained during training that it gets hot in the cockpit, your legs seem to be burning. Was this problem fixed?
– We cannot find a solution yet. In races, after 25-30 laps, my legs begin to burn very strongly, namely those parts that are in contact with the pedals. The entire braking system gets very hot, and after a while it becomes painful. Due to the fact that we changed the configuration of the racing shoes and socks, I started having these problems. So far, you have to endure and look for a solution.

– Mick Schumacher gets more accidents than you. How do you explain this – just make fewer mistakes or act with a large margin?
– I have a good sense of the limit of the car. I can allow the car to turn, but in most cases the car remains within the track or at least does not reach the wall. I think this is due to the fact that my mistakes, crossing the limit do not greatly exceed the physical capabilities of the machine. This avoids major problems and subsequent repairs.

– Fernando Alonso criticized the difficulty of the current F1 calendar. Do you get tired of him?
– Of course, I’m tired – it’s normal when you have races every weekend and many hours of flights. For example, this Sunday there was a 14:00 flight. Then there will be eight hours of time difference with Qatar and only two days for adaptation.

But I would say that I have no right to complain. I am glad that I have the opportunity to compete in this championship. The most difficult thing is for the team – mechanics and engineers. They start working earlier than the riders and finish later. And not everyone flies in business class. So it is especially difficult for them during these three weeks. In addition, as you know, the delivery of Formula 1 cars to Brazil is late, they did not arrive on time and, as I understand it, they will only arrive tonight, so the mechanics will have to work without sleep and then work all day on Friday.

– Who will become the world champion – Max or Lewis?
– It is very difficult to say, because the balance of power changes not only from Grand Prix to Grand Prix – from session to session: you saw how the Red Bull had a good third training session in Austin, then the qualification remained with Mercedes, and the race was won again by Red Bull. There will be a very interesting confrontation, but it still seems to me that the combination of Red Bull with Max and Cheko has stronger positions.

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