Haas team boss Guenther Steiner feels both Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin did a "good job" on their Formula 1 debuts despite spins for both drivers.
Schumacher spun following the early safety car restart but survived and managed to finish his first Grand Prix in 16th.
Mazepin had a trickier weekend, spinning in practice, qualifying and after just three corners in the race. Unlike Schumacher, the Russian driver hit the wall and was the first retiree of the season.
“Formula 1 is a very difficult sport, but we knew the challenge, therefore there’s no big surprise,” Steiner told the press.
"I think the two drivers did a good job over the course of the weekend. Obviously, in the race Nikita spun out and damaged the car, and Mick spun once too – but the whole weekend for them was a learning phase.
"We need to do more of it, and as many laps as possible, with all that we’ll be fine. It was one weekend from 23. We need to get better and better, work on getting more laps in, and keep learning – that’s the mission.
Mazepin said he’d used the break between the opening races to “go away and reflect back on the weekend to see the things I need to improve – and obviously there’s a lot of things being a rookie”.
Steiner sides with Mazepin and expected to have problems early in the 2021 campaign. Nevertheless, he stands by the decision to go with an all-rookie pairing for the season.
“We decided to do this, and we need to get through it. I just try to see it that the drivers feel comfortable," added Steiner. "I don’t try to micromanage them.
“They have their engineers and they need to work with them on a day-to-day basis, or more accurately on an hour-to-hour basis, not with me.
“In the beginning, I will be well-informed what is happening and try to see where I may need to intervene. I’m not doing the job myself. I’ve got good people working for the team who know how to do the job better than me.
“I just observe what is happening. If there’s a problem I’m there to ask what it is and then I see if I need to do something.”