Nikita Mazepin says he “almost crashed” when running behind Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo during day two of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Mazepin completed 76 laps in the morning session of day two at the Bahrain International Circuit, classifying 14th fastest overall.

After being overtaken by Giovinazzi into Turn 1, the Russian ducked out from behind the Alfa Romeo on the exit of Turn 3 and almost lost control of his car in the process.

Speaking after the morning session, Mazepin revealed he wanted to follow another F1 car closely to see how much downforce is lost when running behind another driver.

“It is a known topic that F1 cars have a lot of downforce and lose a lot of downforce when they follow other cars,” Mazepin said. “With such limited running and a lot of cars being most likely in front of me at the start of the race in Bahrain, I wanted to experience the amount of downforce that I would lose.

“I did get to experience that. I almost crashed because the wind snap was huge. It was a bit of a worrying moment but good to try.”

Explaining the situation with Giovinazzi, he said: “I was just following. Antonio was on a lower fuel run and he was not doing consecutive laps. And I was going for the whole race distance and my pace was slower.

“He overtook me and I wanted to stay behind and learn my way through.”

Haas completed the most laps of any team on day two in Bahrain, 162 laps in total.

Mazepin reiterated Haas' desire to get as many laps on the board as possible because of his and teammate Mick Schumacher's lack of F1 experience and testing being limited to just three days.

“We are in the situation that we are in, and regardless of the teams plans the driver’s job is to maximise it, and my goal is to go as forward as I can possibly go,” Mazepin added.

“It was important to make a lot of laps because we are very limited with the amount of running we are going to get this year so the more laps I do the more familiar I am with the car and competing with guys who have raced over 10 years in F1.

“That is a big advantage that I will gain by completing 70 laps that I’ve done today. In regards to know development, I think we have a good foundation with the car to build and hopefully that foundation will help us go even further in development in 2022.”

 

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