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Hamilton overcomes weekend of obstacles to win, Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team finds positives in Sao Paulo Grand Prix

“Our race today was pretty good – the starts were good. Mick made a lot of progress and Nikita...
“Our race today was pretty good – the starts were good. Mick made a lot of progress and Nikita as well," said Team Principal Guenther Steiner.(Haas F1 Team)
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 6:22 AM EST
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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - Lewis Hamilton came from back in the field to get the win, while the Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team found some positive notes in the São Paulo Grand Prix at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Brazil.

“Our race today was pretty good – the starts were good,” said Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “Mick made a lot of progress and Nikita as well. Mick ran into Kimi and that compromised his race, but Nikita’s first stint was very good. I think this was one of our best weekends this year and that shows we are getting there with the drivers. All in all, the result is not fantastic, but the progress is.”

Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher classified 17th and 18th respectively in the race.

Mazepin took the start on Pirelli P Zero Yellow mediums from 19th place and avoided trouble to surge up to 14th – the Russian retaining that position through a safety car period caused by debris on track. Mazepin remained in the midfield group shortly and settled into a rhythm, pitting on lap 35 of 71 to move onto White hard tires, which he preserved through to the checkered flag.

Schumacher started from 18th on mediums and gained on the opening lap to hold 15th position. Unfortunately, Schumacher and Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Räikkönen made light contact on lap 11, leaving Schumacher with front wing damage, and necessitating an unscheduled pit stop for the German. Schumacher came in for repairs, took on hard compound tires, before coming in again on laps 31 and 63, adopting medium tires on both occasions.

At the front Lewis Hamilton recorded the 101st victory of his Formula 1 career, ahead of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas.

Uralkali Haas F1 Team’s 2021 Formula 1 season will continue with the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix, at the Losail International Circuit, from November 19 to 21 - the final leg of the current triple-header.

“I had a good day,” Mazepin said. “My start wasn’t the best, I had a good getaway and then had a bit of wheel spin, so the first few corners were difficult to overtake people. I had a good Turn 4 and after that I think I looked after the tires nicely in the first few opening laps. The team did a great job of giving me the car that worked very well in the beginning, I had a bit of a difficult middle and then I was able to recover towards the end. I made a move when I needed to make it, and obviously with a few VSCs we tried to maximize it and there wasn’t a whole lot on the table to extract more from today.”

“We were battling Kimi and we were joking about it in the press conference,” Schumacher said. “It’s unfortunate that we got a bit too close but those things happen, especially at that kind of corner where it’s tight. I went limping into the pits but after that I think overall, it was a good race. We learn from these things and any battle that I get is really useful. A lot of positives that we can carry away from here and I have to say, I really enjoyed that one.”

Round 20 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship is the Qatar Grand Prix hosted at Losail International Circuit. Practice – Friday November 19. Qualifying – Saturday November 20. Race – Sunday November 21.

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