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Mick Schumacher

Schumacher: Rivalry with Mazepin has been 'blown out of proportion'

Mick Schumacher believes that his tense relationship with Haas teammate Nikita Mazepin was exaggerated in 2021.

Mick Schumacher
To news overview © Haas

Mick Schumacher feels that the public nature of his back-of-the-field squabbles with Nikita Mazepin meant their rivalry was "blown out of proportion in some ways".

The two rookies stepped up to the Haas Formula 1 team together for the 2021 season, with Schumacher promoted after winning the F2 title.

The German had a clear advantage over Mazepin for most of the season, but there were several on-track run-ins between the pair that made headlines as tensions increased at Haas due to them propping up the rear of the field.

With Haas not in a position to join the midfield battle, Schumacher believes that the inter-team fighting was more visible due to them only racing each other.

"I think it's probably blown out of proportion in some ways," Schumacher told Crash.net.

"Obviously, I think that every teammate out there is competitive. I think we are not the only ones having these kind of issues, but probably they've been more public with us."

Diplomatically, Schumacher added that their mutual goal to move Haas forward in 2022 has resulted in a level of cooperation.

"Overall, I think we do work together on that side and we try to aim for the same goal, which is obviously moving ahead and trying to improve ourselves in the sport," he said.

Some "difficult times" for Schumacher and Mazepin

Speaking from the other side, Mazepin reckons their relationship has become more "neutral" after a year of learning about each other's personalities.

"I'm not sure it was blown out of proportion," Mazepin told Autosport.

"I think there were some difficult times when he was learning [about] me, I was learning [about] him.

"Every time I go out there, I want to be the car finishing in front, and I've always wanted that. And I will never stop wanting that until I leave that paddock and hang my pass on a wall.

"But now it's a very neutral relationship that doesn't have any highs and any lows, and it's just consistent. And that's the only way to achieve good results in this sport."

Like Schumacher, Mazepin thinks it was better for the new teammates to find peace in order to help Haas progress up the order.

"I'm here to win races. I know that's probably not going to happen in the foreseeable future, but the way to make it happen is to get the best car you can, and to set it up in the fastest way possible. And that takes two people to do it," he explained.

"I'm sure Mick has exactly the same thoughts, ambitions and goals in his mindset, so we do what is necessary for the team. And I actually think we always try with both sides of the garage to go a bit beyond in achieving those goals."

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