Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says his main instruction to Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin ahead of this week’s Monaco GP will be to “stay out of the walls and off the barriers”.
Formula 1 returns to the glitzy Principality after two years away following the race’s cancellation in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And Haas returns no longer with a pair of seasoned racers but with a rookie duo vulnerable to the pitfalls of Monte Carlo’s tight and twisty layout
Both Schumacher and Mazepin raced in Monaco in 2019 in a round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship but tackling the challenging course in an F1 car will be another difficult trial of the pair’s skills.
Steiner’s brief to his young chargers is to keep it clean from the outset and to gain experience.
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“Regarding the briefing – stay out of the walls and off the barriers, that’s what we’ll let them know,” warned the Italian.
“Once you’re in the barriers in Monaco, your session is lost. You cannot get the car back and it’s normally pretty damaged anyway.
“The challenge is big. It’s a very tight circuit, it’s obviously a street circuit, and you’ve got lots of people watching – everything you don’t want on a race like this.
“On the other side, you do want it though, that’s why we’re doing it.
“There should be little pressure on the drivers there as we know our performance. They should be looking at the race just to gain experience so when they return with a better car they’ll have learned how to deal with Monaco – which is obviously a very special race in the Formula 1 calendar.”
Steiner insists that both drivers are slowly but surely settling in and improving their working relationship with their fellow team members.
“At the moment we’re very happy with how they’re getting along with the team,” said the Haas team principal.
“You can always get better, but we’re at a very good point, and the relationships with the people they work directly with are improving – they’ve started off on a good foot and it’s just a work in progress.
“There are a lot of people working in a Formula 1 team and the drivers need to get to know them better, especially the people that work directly with them. Up to now though it’s been very positive progress.”
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