Mazepin was given a five-second penalty for obstructing race leader Perez as he approached him as the two nearly collided at Turn 3.
The Russian had just come out of the pits in front of Perez and did not see the Red Bull driver up close behind him.
Perez had to take evasive action after Mazepin turned on him, and the Mexican was concerned he had indeed hit the Haas pilot and broken his front wing.
After the race Mazepin went to Perez to apologize for what happened, but Haas team boss Gunther Steiner said his team had to take some responsibility in such situations.
“I think his blue flag light came on very late, and he had already passed turn 2 when the light came on,” Steiner said.
“So obviously we have to improve the communication when you come out of the pits and someone comes along.”
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Steiner made it clear that Mazepin did not deliberately try to make life difficult for Perez and was relieved that the five-second penalty imposed ultimately did not matter to the Russian.
“I think it was unintentional and that in the end nothing bad happened,” he said. “You know it never looks good, but the five seconds that I think didn’t make a big difference.
Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21
Photo By: Steven Tee / Motorsport images
“In the end, I think Checo accepted that one, you know. [Nikita] apologized to him. He said, “Hey, that was really a mistake, there was no intention of anything.” So these things happen. “
F1 race director Michael Masi said the punishment for Mazepin was only for almost causing the collision with Perez, even though he had just received the blue flags.
“With Nikita’s penalty, it wasn’t so much the number of blue flags that were ignored, it was more the incident that was shown on the show with Sergio at Turn 3, and the near collision that was provoked under the blue flags, “he explained.
“It wasn’t actually for a number of panels, it was more to not effectively pull away as soon as possible, which almost caused an incident.”