Hamilton wins sixth Spanish Grand Prix, Kannapolis-based Haas team has “tough afternoon”

Mick Schumacher finished p18, Nikita Mazepin finished p19.
Mick Schumacher finished p18, Nikita Mazepin finished p19.(Haas F1 Team)
Updated: May. 9, 2021 at 10:48 AM EDT
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KANNAPOLS, N.C. (WBTV) - The Kannapolis-based Haas Formula One Team had a self-described “tough afternoon” at the Spanish Grand Prix, Round 4 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, Spain.

Haas F1 drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin finished p18 and p19 respectively in the race.

“It was a tough race today for us,” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “I would say the start was very good for Mick (Schumacher), and also Nikita (Mazepin), he had a good start too. But then they rightly decided not to take any risks in the first few corners and then the Williams got by. We obviously need to end races, there’s no point to do anything that will damage the cars so you can’t finish the race. I think our strategy was the best one for us, it’s what we could get out from the race this afternoon – there was not more there for us this weekend.”

Schumacher took the start from 18th position on Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires and executed an excellent start to capture two positions, before settling into a rhythm. Schumacher came in on lap 23 for Yellow medium tires and extended that stint until lap 52 prior to boxing once more for the same compound. Schumacher preserved that set through to the checkered flag to maintain his 100 per cent finishing record in Formula 1.

“It could have been better, but we knew it was going to be a tough race for us,” Schumacher said. “Nonetheless we can be happy with most of what we achieved. My start itself wasn’t that great, but I got a good opening lap – I managed to find a good spot to drive around some people that were maybe blocked by some others. On that side of the race I think we can be quite happy. Unfortunately, we knew after that it was going to be quite difficult. We were struggling quite a bit with the rear tires on the C3. We just had to concentrate on our race and maximize what we had. Every weekend has been a bit different, so I go into Monaco next with an open mind and we’ll see how it is there after FP1.”

Mazepin also utilized Red soft tires for the start, lining up 20th, and likewise undertook a two-stop strategy at the tire-limited circuit. Mazepin boxed on lap 23, exchanging his soft tires for Yellow medium tires, and then returned to the pit lane once more on lap 44. Mazepin followed Schumacher to the finish to ensure Uralkali Haas F1 Team’s duo added more valuable experience in their rookie seasons.

“It was very difficult today – the balance shift was very strange,” Mazepin said. “To be honest, we struggled a lot with mid-corner under rotation in qualifying, and then it went to extreme oversteer on all the sets I used in the race. We need to analyze why the shift was so big – maybe it was the temperatures, maybe it was the wind. It’s every rookie’s job to keep learning in every race, I remember from the junior categories how much more I knew in year two and year three of being in the same series. There’s a lot to be learned. Today was quite a clean race from my side though, no big mistakes, and pretty consistent driving.”

World Champion Lewis Hamilton recorded the 98th victory of his Formula 1 career, and third of the 2021 season, in front of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas.

Uralkali Haas F1 Team will return to action at the Monaco Grand Prix, to be held at the Circuit de Monaco, from May 20 to 23.

Lewis Hamilton staged a comeback to pass Max Verstappen in the closing laps to claim another victory for the Mercedes team. Verstappen finished second, Valtteri Bottas picked up his 50th podium with a third place finish.

Round 5 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship is the Monaco Grand Prix hosted at the Circuit de Monaco. Practice – Thursday May 20. Qualifying – Saturday May 22. Race – Sunday May 23.

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