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Hamilton gets the win, Kannapolis-based Haas drivers find positives in Qatar GP

Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin classified 16th and 18th...
Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin classified 16th and 18th respectively at the Qatar Grand Prix, Round 20 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the Losail International Circuit.(Haas F1 Team)
Published: Nov. 21, 2021 at 1:29 PM EST
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KANNAPOLIS N.C. (WBTV) - The Kannapolis-based Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin classified 16th and 18th respectively at the Qatar Grand Prix, Round 20 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the Losail International Circuit.

“The race today was one of our better ones this year, if not the best. Both drivers did a good job – Mick was fighting with the Williams and Alfa Romeo’s which is unexpected,” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “We didn’t get by them but at least we were in the mix, which was good for the whole team to see. Nikita also did a very, very good first part of the race, keeping up, thinking that he only did 15 laps with the car before going into the race and never driving the car with a full fuel tank. With the other Williams stopping earlier and being on a different strategy, it got a little bit difficult therefore he fell back.”

Schumacher took the start from 19th on the grid on Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires and managed a one-stop strategy, coming in on lap 23 of 57 to switch to Yellow mediums. From there Schumacher brought the car home to record 16th place.

“It was good, and we can be happy with what we achieved today,” Schumacher said. “We made the strategy that we chose and committed to work. The start was pretty decent, we got Latifi at the beginning. The performance of the car was there, and we were right in the window. We were very close to the Alfas which is what we were expecting but on the other hand, not from the beginning of the year. It’s down to our teamwork committing to understanding the car as well as we do and having to work with what we have. We’re still now finding new things, finding new ways of improving.”

Mazepin lined up from 20th on mediums and also executed a one-stop strategy, pitting on lap 32, switching to the soft tires. Mazepin, who earlier in the weekend lost valuable track time missing FP2 and FP3 completely, would go on to register 18th place, ensuring both Haas VF-21s reached the checkered flag upon Formula 1′s maiden visit to Qatar and Losail.

“We expected the tires to do one thing and we went medium to soft, and it felt like the balance had a lot of understeer at the end of the first stint. I did decent laps towards the end of the last,” said Mazepin. “I certainly didn’t drive like they were race tires, I drove like they were qualifying tires, learning the track with every lap out there. It was a very hot race. Our big goal was to do laps and maximize. Not the easiest one out there but another new track in the mix next time.”

Up front Lewis Hamilton recorded win number 102 of his Formula 1 career, 25.7s in front of championship leader Max Verstappen, with Fernando Alonso returning to the podium in third.

Uralkali Haas F1 Team’s 2021 Formula 1 season will continue with the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, from December 3 to 5.

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