|Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin finished Saturday’s 100km Sprint qualifying event in 19th and 20th, respectively, ahead of the São Paulo Grand Prix at Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Brazil.|
Schumacher and Mazepin started the third and final Sprint of the season one position higher up than their Friday qualifying classification, following Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ disqualification for a technical non-conformity related to DRS deployment.
As the race began, positions changed aplenty out in front with Hamilton starting his charge through the order. Both VF-21s started the Sprint on Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires – subsequently staying within a second of their rivals throughout the first lap.
With the Alfa Romeo team-mates touching up ahead, the result being Raikkonen pitching into a spin on lap 2, Schumacher and Mazepin each gained a position temporarily, with the Finn then overtaking Mazepin on lap 5 on the start-finish straight, mirroring the move a lap later on Schumacher.
As the focus of the Sprint turned to preserving life in the tires, Schumacher and Mazepin settled into a rhythm, posting consistent lap times, bringing both cars home safely to the checkered flag.
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas took his second consecutive Sprint win after defending from Max Verstappen for the majority of the race. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz completed the top three with Lewis Hamilton bouncing back to finish fifth after 24-laps.
|“We went with the C4 tire, which was a bit of a gamble. I think the first few laps were quite good. I had the opportunity to come very close to Mick, we were battling for four corners side-by-side, I really felt that was the right time to react but unfortunately the rear tires were struggling by that point onwards. I tried to use my chance, it didn’t really work, but in the grand scheme of things it’s quite difficult for us at this track to battle with the likes of the Williams and the Alfas.”|
|“Maybe in hindsight there was a faster strategy but we wanted to make sure we had a good start and a good first lap, which we still had, but we didn’t get by anybody. It didn’t pay off this time, but we have another go. Overall, it was a lesson in learning how the soft tires handled, and we know what we need. Nothing’s lost, the race is tomorrow.”|
|“An exciting start for us – we almost got past at least one Williams, but then it was just not enough. Starting on the soft tires was a good choice, we tried to get by, couldn’t do it and then we fell back, but the distance to the people close to us was smaller than normal, so that was encouraging and neither driver made any mistakes, nothing. They tried always to get on the limit with the tires and obviously we needed to manage the rears a lot because they overheated, but both came back with clean cars and ready for tomorrow.”|
Haas F1 Team PR