Mazepin revealed at last weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix that his car was running at a heavier weight that Schumacher, making him feel like “a carrot that was about to be caught by a rabbit” against his team-mate in the race.
Mazepin has beaten Schumacher just once in races both drivers have finished, and has outqualified him once out of eight races so far this year – in Monaco, when Schumacher took no part in qualifying.
Haas F1 team boss Gunther Steiner explained ahead of this weekend’s second race at the Red Bull Ring that there was a “small weight weight difference depending on the weight distribution”.
But he cleared up Mazepin’s belief that he would have to wait six or seven more races to change chassis and go back to a lighter one, revealing a new chassis is planned for after the summer break.
“Heavy is never good, but it’s not like 20 kilos heavier or not 10 kilos heavier – it’s nothing like this,” Steiner said.
“We built a new chassis maybe a month ago, I would say. The plan is not to have it in six or seven races, the chassis is planned to be with us after the summer break.
Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
“So it slows him down. But it’s not a lot.”
But Mazepin said that the perspective Steiner had on the pit wall was “probably very different to what you feeling driving the car for 71 laps”, feeling it did have a big impact on him was still drivable.
“Everyone is entitled to think [what they want] and they could be right, but I’m pretty certain that it does have quite a big impact,” Mazepin said.
“Because it offsets the weight distribution, and then that offsets the set-up that you put in the car. So there are quite a few factors, if you go into it from a mechanical perspective.
“However, I would say in the grand scheme of things, it’s not unacceptable. It’s just making my life a bit more challenging.
“But I have a very good team of engineers who are helping me in my rookie year, to understand it and get to work with it better.”