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Money for Max, misery for Mick and Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team in Mexico City Grand Prix

Mick Schumacher ended the day with a DNF, Nikita Mazepin finished p18.
Mick Schumacher ended the day with a DNF, Nikita Mazepin finished p18.(Haas F1 Team)
Published: Nov. 7, 2021 at 5:24 PM EST
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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - Max Verstappen got his ninth win of the year, but the third place podium finish of Sergio Perez got the loudest cheers at the the Mexico City Grand Prix, Round 18 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.on Sunday. Perez became the first Mexican F1 driver to record a podium finish on his home track.

The Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team struggled with Mick Schumacher going out of the race on the first lap. Nikita Mazepin soldiered on, picking up a p18 finish.

“A tough weekend,” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “Mick retired during the first lap, obviously there was nothing to do and it was a racing incident which happens when you’re trying to do your best. With Nikita, he stuck in there and got the best out of it as possible. We had a bit of a slow pit stop – we wanted to come out in front of Latifi – and it didn’t work out so we ended up where we ended up, but he learned a lot about tire management. Now it’s on to the next one.”

Lewis Hamilton finished in the second position.

Mazepin took the start from 15th on Pirelli’s P Zero Yellow medium tires and gained positions through a chaotic opening sequence of turns to sit on the cusp of the top 10. Mazepin came in on lap 13 of 71 for a set of White hard tires and then opted for a second stop on lap 61 for mediums in order to get out of a cycle of blue flags. Mazepin came across the line in 18th place.

“It was a very long race,” Mazepin said. “We had a good start, we got through nicely and the first part of the race was going well. Then we decided to protect from Williams and unfortunately our pit stop was too slow – we just got done by them but I think we had the pace to probably keep them behind considering how hard it is to overtake on this track. Unfortunately it didn’t happen. I felt that as we had less downforce than we’d like it was really difficult to follow cars closely when you get overtaken by blue flags – after that it was a tough race.”

Schumacher started from 14th on the grid on medium tires but unfortunately his race came to an end on the opening lap. As the field tried to avoid the spinning Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas at the exit of turn one contact was made between Schumacher and the Alpine of Esteban Ocon. That collision caused terminal damage to the rear-left suspension of Schumacher’s VF-21 and he was forced to halt the car.

“I saw a lot of smoke and normally that isn’t a good sign,” Schumacher said. “I didn’t want to be face-on so I decided to go to the middle and unfortunately there were already cars there and we all got bunched up, and I made contact with Esteban Ocon. It’s unfortunate but these things happen – it’s not the first time it’s happened in my career and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I was looking forward to driving here and learning, next year hopefully we’ll have a better car and can attack more. We can always take positives.”

Uralkali Haas F1 Team’s 2021 Formula 1 season will continue with the São Paulo Grand Prix, at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, from November 12 to 14.

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