Boss admits Mazepin ‘sounds unfriendly’ on radio

(GMM) Nikita Mazepin insists he has a “very good relationship” with his Haas race engineer – even if it sometimes doesn’t sound that way on the radio.

“Yes, sometimes it sounds a little unfriendly,” team boss Gunther Steiner admits. “But he’s just very direct. That’s his character.

“He has a very good relationship with his race engineer. I don’t see a problem there,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

Mazepin’s race engineer this year is Dominic Haines, who worked with the Russian rookie’s predecessor Romain Grosjean in 2021.

“I’m working on the side of the garage where Grosjean used to be,” Mazepin confirmed at Portimao. “I have a very good relationship with my race engineer.

“I have spent a lot of time in England and with British people and speak the language well. I just need to get used to the fact that when I am working and in stressful situations, millions of people around can listen to my radio.

“I’m not used to that yet,” the 22-year-old added. “It wasn’t like this in Formula 2. Very often what you hear without seeing the person can be misunderstood.”

BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, BAHRAIN – MARCH 13: Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21 during the Bahrain March testing at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday March 13, 2021 in Sakhir, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Sutton / Sutton Images)

Mazepin admitted some of his radio calls may seem unfriendly because he is “still getting used” to communicating with a new race engineer.

“I am therefore trying to convey to the team what I want to hear during the race and what I don’t need to know – what I can find out about after the session. I’m sure things will get better in the near future,” he said.

The start of Mazepin’s F1 career has been fraught in almost every way, and Mick Schumacher’s teammate admits that he is still getting used to Formula 1.

“I keep repeating to myself that I’m only used to a championship of 10 or 12 races, so there was more time to learn from your mistakes,” Mazepin said.

“I don’t quite understand how to make this car faster yet,” he added. “At times, it has taken me too long to adjust to the track conditions and weather. In other situations I was able to do it much faster.”

However, he insists he is not giving up.

“What if I told myself that I needed five races to adapt, and it takes six? Do I then jump out of the window? Probably not the best idea,” he smiled.

“Therefore, the team and I are approaching everything very realistically, based on what we are capable of and the goals we have for the season. The main thing is that any mistakes I make do not happen again, and next season is clean.”