Nikita Mazepin has found himself involved in one controversy or another since the start of this season. At the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, things were no different as he ended up with a penalty.
Most of the incidents that Mazepin was a part of were related to the gentleman’s agreement between drivers. According to this agreement, cars should not overtake before the final corner preceding a flying lap.
The Moscow-born driver this time was passed by Yuki Tsunoda and Kimi Raikkonen who were on their way to the pits. Mazepin then obstructed Lando Norris who was coming up behind on a flying lap.
According to the stewards, he had impeded the Briton after pulling out and repassing Tsunoda and Raikkonen when he should have waited for the McLaren to overtake him.
Mazepin was given a three-place grid drop but still managed to qualify last. He was also awarded one penalty point on his superlicense.
The Haas driver said that all he was trying to do was respect the gentleman’s agreement which according to him needs to be reviewed.
“If I’m not mistaken, somebody asked about the gentlemen’s agreement into the last corner in Bahrain,” said Mazepin. “I think that was a very prime example of that not working in Formula 1.
“I was really trying to obey it, as I was ever since I took note of it. It’s very difficult when two cars overtake you going into a last corner which is very slow and tight, where a length of a car, which is five-and-a-half metres, you just can’t put a third car there and especially if the fourth car is arriving at full speed.
“So I didn’t feel boxing up behind was an option because that would have left my rear end on the racing line. The only option was to go, which I did. Unfortunately, it’s just all these things coming together.
“I’m not upset about it because there’s really not much I could have done apart from disappear, which unfortunately I’m not able to do.”
On one hand, Mazepin was left to deal with another mistake, on the other, his teammate Mick Schumacher managed to overtake Nicholas Latifi and will start 18th in Barcelona.
“We’re really happy,” said the German. “I think we obviously managed to put the car where we wanted to.
“We did a big change from Friday to today and I think it was definitely the right one to do. I feel the team and I have taken all the right steps afterwards to put the car where we are now.
“But I think it’s going to be tough. We’re looking at a bit of rear deg in the race, I think everybody is, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Let’s treat the tyres like a baby, I would say.”
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