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today is Sep 28, 2021

Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says the US outfit will work hard to alleviate the tensions between its drivers, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, after the pair's double run-in at Zandvoort.

On Saturday, Mazepin was furious at his teammate for deliberately ignoring the team's pre-planned running order at the start of qualifying, a disregard that led to an on-track rift between the two drivers that nearly led to a collision with Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel.

But Schumacher defended his position, insisting he had been given the all-clear by his race engineer to overtake Mazepin at the start of Q1.

On race day, a second flash point emerged between the Haas rookies, but this time it was Schumacher who claimed that his teammate had ruined his race by dangerously moving over on him on Zandvoort's main straight and damaging his front wing.

As tensions flared between the two drivers, Steiner appeared to tread lightly, adopting a neutral stance, insisting that neither driver was to be blamed for the skirmish.

©Haas

Steiner vowed to remain constructive, revealing that he had met with his drivers after Haas' engineering debrief and would talk with Schumacher and Mazepin again at Monza.

The Italian has been forced to step in and defuse tensions between Haas' drivers in the past, with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, but Steiner said that  soothing the current strains between his two young chargers is now a "big task".

"I've been there before, we will sort it," said the Haas team principal. "And I think the timing, I’d rather have it now than next year, to be honest.

"We are in a position where at least we've got a little bit of time to sort it still.

"We have got nine races to go, we need to fix this. This is now a big task to do. And we will work hard at it."

  • Read also: Mazepin 'life-threatening' actions have no place in F1

After last Sunday's race, a frustrated Schumacher said that he wasn't sure his relationship with Mazepin could be improved, while on the other side of the garage, Mazepin acknowledged the tensions but insisted the rapport has "been the same exactly from the beginning of the year".

"For me, I really don't care so much who I'm fighting with," the Russian said. "I’m doing it respectfully, and I'm not going to give any more than I should.

The 22-year-old rookie ultimately played down the relationship issue, saying he had "no problems" with Schumacher, but "I want to be in front".

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