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Haas were left trying to avoid an internal war as Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher clashed after Dutch Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday. Formula 1 has returned to the Netherlands for the first time since 1985 and fans were treated to an electric atmosphere and a dramatic qualifying session.
The incident happened in the first qualifying round at Zandvoort circuit as Schumacher attempted to overtake Mazepin.
The two almost collided and it ruined their respective runs, condemning them to the back of the grid once again while home favourite Max Verstappen sealed pole position.
Controversial Russian racer Mazepin was furious with his team-mate and accused Schumacher of deliberately ruining his attempts to improve his starting grid position.
“Well, I’m really annoyed to be honest because it should have not been that difficult with traffic,” an exasperated Mazepin said.
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“Because [the] rules within a Formula 1 team one weekend, you are the first car [on track], the next weekend you are the second car.
“This weekend was my turn to be the first car and I’ve once, in Imola, overtaken the first car when I was the second [car] – and I got a b*llocking from the team.
“And now this has happened to me the second time: my team-mate overtakes me and bumps me into the traffic and f**ks my last attempt in qualifying on purpose.
“I’m not happy.”
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The Russian – who is still looking for his first career point in F1 while enduring a difficult rookie season in 2021 – was reported by journalist Will Buxton as being ‘absolutely furious’ with Schumacher.
Buxton claimed he had ‘rarely seen a driver so angry that wasn’t in a crash’ as it was reportedly Mazepin’s turn per the Haas agreement where priority alternates between the duo each weekend.
Schumacher is adamant he was given the go-ahead from the team to make such a move.
“[I] don’t know what he’s telling people…he usually sets a lap that’s a little slower than mine,” the son of legendary seven-time champion Michael Schumacher said.
“There’s no reason to make up drama from this.”
The FIA launched an investigation and the pair were summoned to stewards after the session, but no action was undertaken.
As a consequence of their bust-up, the Haas drivers will start 18th and 19th on the grid on Sunday.
After a trip to Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, the Dutch Grand Prix is the second week in an F1 triple-header ahead of next week’s Italian Grand Prix.
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