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Hamilton scores 100th win, Kannapolis-based Haas team struggles at Sochi

Schumacher fails to finish for first time this season
For the first time this season Mick Schumacher suffered an early exit.
For the first time this season Mick Schumacher suffered an early exit.(Haas F1 Team)
Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 11:15 AM EDT
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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - The Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team struggled at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, while Lewis Hamilton made history with his 100th win.

Uralkali Haas F1 Team driver Nikita Mazepin classified 18th, while Mick Schumacher was unable to reach the finish of Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix, Round 15 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, held at Sochi Autodrom.

Mazepin took the start from 15th on Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires and leapt up to 13th on the opening lap. Mazepin battled with much faster cars but held a solid 16th through the first stint, coming in on lap 14 for White hard tires, emerging in 19th position. Mazepin came in again on lap 48 for Cinturato Green intermediate tires as a band of showers swept through Sochi Autodrom and he avoided the drama that befell others to collect 18th spot at the checkered flag.

“It was a long race – loads of things happening,” Mazepin said. “I had a very good first opening lap and then did my best to hold the faster cars behind using the battery cleverly, which I think I did well. Then after we boxed, came out on hard tires, I still tried to keep the cars behind and obviously one overtook me, and then I had a lock-up and unfortunately for us when the hard tires lock-up, they don’t ever come back. We as a team made a good call to go on to inters, I was one of the very first cars and gained quite a bit of time back. It was fun to overtake some cars that I would never be able to overtake. Nevertheless, we know where we stand and now eyes forward on to the next race.”

Schumacher started from 14th on the grid, also on soft tires, but dropped to the rear of the field on a frantic opening lap. Schumacher regrouped and came in on lap 20, taking on hard tires, and closed on teammate Mazepin, making a move for 19th on lap 32. Unfortunately for Schumacher a hydraulic issue on his VF-21 meant he was forced to come into the pitlane to retire just two laps later, bringing his perfect finishing record this season to an end.

“We obviously had an issue and we were trying to fix it out on track but didn’t manage. It is what it is, we live and we learn and it’s Formula 1 – so things can happen. It’s my first retirement this year and I was certainly hoping it would take some more time, or not happen at all this year but it’s a part of the game. We were very good in terms of pace and the car felt really good out there. We’ll take away the positives, analyze them and take them on to Turkey,” Schumacher said.

“We had a good race start with both cars,” said Team Principal Guenther Stener. “Nikita in the first part of the race had good pace, keeping a few other cars behind. Mick’s start was not fantastic, but he got out after his tire change and was very strong and then unfortunately he had a hydraulic issue, losing pressure. Nikita – once the blue flags started – the tires got cold and he struggled to keep the pace, that was the reason. In the end we got one car to the end and we come back.”

Up front Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton recorded a historic 100th Formula 1 victory with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Scuderia Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz completing the podium.

Uralkali Haas F1 Team will next be in action at the Turkish Grand Prix, to be held at Intercity Istanbul Park, from October 8 to 10.

Haas F1 Team contributed to this story.

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