Nikita Mazepin has explained the adjustment both physically and mentally that he experienced as an F1 rookie during 2021.
The jam-packed calendar was the longest to date, with 22 races as well as several triple-headers during the campaign. Whilst the year may have posed challenges for all involved, it could potentially come as more of a shock to a new driver.
However, Mazepin thinks that he quickly became used to the busy schedule.
When asked how he was feeling physically as a rookie after the close run of races, the Haas driver told media including RacingNews365.com: "You know, that question is really interesting.
"But I'll say, mentally, I've gotten so used to basically living and racing, so it doesn't really come to [be] a stress. It's just something that you do every Thursday to Sunday.
"So, in that respect, I wouldn't mind maybe a few more races this year, but it just feels like we're getting better and better with the team."
Physical demands of the F1 calendar
In terms of the physical effects of travelling to different races and competing on such a frequent basis, Mazepin admits that this can come with its difficulties.
"Physically, it's difficult to train in the gym when you're flying around so much and your body's not 100 percent," the Russian said.
"But, when I'm driving the car, I feel that I'm well fit enough to do so, and you have neck problems but that's about it."
On the track, Mazepin endured a tough start to his Formula 1 career, and ended the year at the bottom of the World Championship standings with no points.
He was also forced to miss the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after testing positive for COVID-19.
Mazepin will remain with Haas as he enters into his second season in F1 in 2022, and again lines up alongside Mick Schumacher as the team hope to move further up the pack.
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