Motor racing-Schumacher can't expect to have it too easy, says Mazepin

·2-min read

(Reuters) - Nikita Mazepin has warned Haas team mate Mick Schumacher not to expect an easy ride from him after the German reacted angrily to the Russian rookie's defensive tactics at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Mazepin and Schumacher almost collided at the end of the June 6 race in Baku as the son of Formula One great Michael tried to overtake and the Russian moved across to block him.

"Honestly, does he want to kill us?," Mick exclaimed over the radio.

The German, who made the move and finished ahead of the Russian, told reporters at the French Grand Prix on Thursday that Mazepin had apologised after a meeting with team boss Guenther Steiner and chief race engineer Ayao Komatsu.

"We spoke about it together and he did, after seeing the video, apologise for it. So in that sense we're all fine," said Schumacher.

Mazepin, speaking separately, made clear he had apologised for upsetting his team mate after what he termed "a bit of a misunderstanding".

"I apologised to him if that's how he felt, and he clearly was very upset, but I would say it is very important that he doesn't expect to have it too easy," he said.

"I'm never going to not block for whatever reason, or one another, but I just clearly didn't expect him to be where he ended up being.

"If he felt the way he did, I said sorry because that's what I think I should be doing," added the Russian. "However, it wasn't for my particular doings at that time."

Mazepin has drawn the ire of several drivers in his short F1 career, having arrived as a controversial character for a video posted on social media last year showing a young woman being groped in the back of a car.

The U.S.-owned team's title sponsor is a company controlled by the Russian's billionaire father.

The back-marker has also been criticised for being slow to move out of the way of other drivers.

"Mazepin will never change," Ferrari's Charles Leclerc commented over the team radio after being blocked in Spanish Grand Prix practice last month.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond)