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Mercedeschef Wolff is angry in Spain about Mazepin: "The guy will cost us the position"

2021-05-12T06:00:47.854Z

Rookie Nikita Mazepin had already been noticed as a brake on several occasions. In Barcelona he got between the fronts of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen - then Toto Wolff stepped in and radioed the race management.



Enlarge image

Nikita Mazepin in the Haas in front of Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes

Photo: 

Mark Sutton / imago images / Motorsport Images

A Haas who decides on the race victory ?:

Many factors can

decide

on the placement in the drivers' championship at the end of the season: The car, of course, the team, safe, talent, strategy, the weather, and luck at times. Another variable could be added this year: Haas driver Nikita Mazepin. In Spain, at least apparently, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff feared that. On lap 26, Max Verstappen had already stopped and Lewis Hamilton was about to put time on the competitor to try an overcut. But then Mazepin, driving at the end of the field, got in his way. Wolff turned to race director Michael Masi by radio: "Michael, blue flags, the guy will cost us the position!" Wolff called over the radio.

The result:

Hamilton returned to the track behind Verstappen after his stop, but in the end it was enough for Mercedes to win - and that was mainly due to the two-stop strategy of the racing team. Read the race report here.

Mazepin again and again:

Last week, Verstappen's team-mate Sergio Pérez was upset about the young driver because he cut him in an overtaking maneuver at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

During qualifying in Spain on Saturday, the Russian received a penalty transfer on the grid for obstructing McLaren driver Lando Norris.

For Mazepin, who started the race from last place on the grid anyway, a manageable penalty, while Norris - at the time third in the drivers' standings - only finished qualifying in ninth place.

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Nikita Mazepin in Barcelona

Photo: 

Mark Thompson / Getty Images

Steiner counters:

Mazepin himself, who finished the Spanish Grand Prix last 50 seconds behind teammate Mick Schumacher, was satisfied that it was a "clean weekend" for him, he says that he is currently no longer able to drive the car "Motorsport Total" quoted. He received support from Haas team boss Günther Steiner: "Toto might just want to be Toto and show who is in charge and show everyone that everyone has to get moving when they come along," Steiner said according to "Motorsport Magazin".

100 races for Red Bull:

On Saturday, Hamilton clinched the 100th pole of his Formula 1 career, on Sunday his rival celebrated an anniversary too: Verstappen drove his 100th Grand Prix with Red Bull (others had previously been added with Toro Rosso ) - and that at the age of just 23.

Five years ago he triumphed in Barcelona with his first Formula 1 victory as the youngest driver in the motorsport premier class.

This time the race day was not optimal for the team.

At the first stop, a misunderstanding meant that the left rear tire was not there in time, the downtime was 4.2 seconds.

It can always get worse:

But sometimes it helps to look at what others are doing. And that it doesn't work there either. At Alfa Romeo, for example. Antonio Giovinazzi had a downtime of 35 seconds on lap nine, apparently because the new tires were damaged and the entire set had to be replaced. It wasn't ready, however, but in the box.

Why Bottas shouldn't let Wolff invite him to dinner:

Not only Mazepin, but also Valtteri Bottas made sure that his boss's pulse got up for a moment in Spain. On lap 52 he was instructed not to stop Hamilton, who was coming after his second stop, in his hunt for the leading Verstappen, but the latter made preparations to defend himself in the first sector. Hamilton has to be patient for half a lap, then he pushed past the inside of turn ten.

But Wolff was afterwards conciliatory: "If we had lost the race as a result, then I would be more critical," he is quoted in "Motorsport Total". The matter will be discussed "amicably" with one another. Even before the race he had spoken out in favor of Bottas' whereabouts - in his very own words: "We don't change drivers during the season unless he is poisoned by fish."

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2021-05-12

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