Haas rookie Nikita Mazepin is preparing for an eventful weekend in Monaco, with the young Russian expecting to struggle on the Principality’s uncompromising streets.
Mazepin has consistently brought up the rear this season, weighed down by his team’s underperforming equipment but also by his own errors and difficulties in mastering an F1 car.
The 22-year-old’s apprenticeship in the sport has so far been a story of spins and blue flags, with Mazepin finding himself on the receiving end of his colleague’s wrath during a session or on race day more times than he cares to remember.
But the Haas driver will press on this weekend, although with little confidence of extracting a good result.
“Being very honest, not too confident, because so far I struggled with the car this year,” Mazepin said on Wednesday at Monaco when asked about his prospects for this weekend.
“I haven’t been able to extract the most out of it [his car] and the balance was appearing very late in the weekend, therefore I found the car most of the time very unpredictable.”
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Haas team boss Guenther Steiner has urged Mazepin and teammate Mick Schumacher to steer clear of Monaco’s barriers and to focus on reaching the checkered flag on Sunday, to which the Russian added that he will take a gradual approach to getting up to speed on the treacherous street circuit.
“The goal is to make laps and to build up to It gradually, throughout FP1, FP2 and qualifying,” Mazepin explained.
“It’s a driver circuit and driver skills I believe matter a lot around here. But of course, knowing that there is not much downforce available in the car to fight with our competitors is not going to be easy.”
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