Schumacher may need to “get elbows out” in Mazepin F1 fights

Just a fortnight on from being left furious at the way Mazepin had defended a position at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the pair had another run-in at Paul Ricard.

Schumacher was forced wide on to the run-off at Turn 3 early in the race after Mazepin made an aggressive dive down the inside to grab a position.

Reflecting on it afterwards to Sky Germany, Schumacher said he felt that Mazepin’s aggression had been unnecessary.

“It doesn’t have to be [like that],” he said. “I think I’ll have to talk to the team about it again.

“At the end of the day, if that’s the way it has to be, then that’s the way it has to be. So we’ll do our thing. I think he’s doing his.”

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While Haas team boss Gunther Steiner said that fighting between his two drivers was inevitable because they were almost racing alone on track, Schumacher still thinks that that their battles do not have to be so hard.

“I think most people can explain that to themselves, that maybe it doesn’t have to be like that,” he said. “I think he [Mazepin] was quite open or talkative about it in the press. I think that’s probably his style.

“Maybe we don’t quite understand each other on that level. But at the end of the day, maybe we have to get our elbows out.”

Mazepin did not see much wrong with how he raced against Schumacher, though, as he felt that their fight had been nothing special.

“I think just very normal,” he said of the incident. “I think being at the back, opportunities don’t arise very often.

“An opportunity arose, and I was happy that I was alert enough and ready to take that opportunity and capitalise. But in the end, I was not able to hold on to it.”

Steiner himself said after reviewing the incident himself, and later speaking to the drivers, that he did not see anything to be concerned about.

“I think in the circumstances it was racing, you know, but it wasn’t unfair,” he said. “In my opinion, it was hard racing.

“Mick tried to overtake George [Russell] is I think what happened, and then he just had to slow down because it didn’t happen. Then Nikita took his chance and went inside.

“I spoke with both of them because I didn’t see the picture completely. So I came to the conclusion it was racing, but it wasn’t unfair.”

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