Haas' Nikita Mazepin has revealed that Lewis Hamilton texted him to apologise for blocking him during third practice for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Mazepin had embarked on a flying lap during FP3 at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit when he encountered a slow Hamilton through the sweeps in the first sector.
With Hamilton unable to see Mazepin approaching at speed, the Mercedes was right in the firing line and Mazepin had to jolt clumsily across the kerbs to avoid a serious incident.
The matter was later investigated by the stewards, with Mercedes given a €25,000 euro fine for the incident after failing to give Hamilton a heads up.
Hamilton was "very sorry"
Speaking to media afterwards, Mazepin explained the situation from his perspective.
"I was on a fast lap. I was going through Turns 7 and 8, which are flat in our car," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"They're all blind and I didn't know that there was a car on the racing line. I kept it flat until the moment I saw he was not going to move from it."
But Mazepin explained that he wasn't bothered by the incident, particularly after receiving a text apology from Hamilton.
"[It was] not a big deal from my side, we train to have the reactions necessary to avoid these kinds of situations. Lewis has been very nice and we sent each other texts about that," he revealed.
"He felt very sorry for what happened and he said it wasn't the best job done from their side [Mercedes].
"It's really nice to see the experience in the older generation really paying attention to these things because.
"In F2, you might never get a driver thinking about it, whereas in F1, a seven-time World Champion is, so that's really kind from him."
No finger pointing
Mazepin explained that while his immediate reaction was to curse down team radio, he wasn't going to point fingers at the race engineers for failing to let either driver know about the situation.
"Instantly, you have maybe one or two swear words come out. Because we really put everything on the line for that lap, and then it doesn't come along," he said.
"But I have a lot of experience in this and here [at this track], you don't have a chance to rely on your mirrors, you rely on your engineer and engineers, not a robot.
"He's a human, and he's got so many jobs to do, as well as telling you where you are on track. Sometimes, he doesn't tell you in the right moment that somebody is coming at a speed of 250 km/h.
"The people, the engineers, really don't deserve the criticism for it. In my case, I was always happy to take the blame."
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