Haas drivers ordered 'to bring the car home' on race day

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Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says the priority for rookies Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin on Sunday will be to steer clear of trouble and see the checkered flag.

Schumacher and Mazepin step into the limelight this weekend in Bahrain as they begin their career in Formula 1.

Although both drivers have accumulated significant testing miles onboard F1 machinery in the past, the pair has only had three days of pre-season testing - one and a half days each - to familiarize itself with Haas 2021 car.

Schumacher and Mazepin's mission on Sunday will therefore be to put more mileage under their belt, "learn their trade" and reach the checkered flag.

"Absolutely, bring the cars home, trying to get as much driving as possible the whole weekend including the race, as this is what they need to do this year, just to learn the trade so to be ready for next year when we hopefully have got a better car," Steiner said.

"My expectation is they bring them home and that is already a success for me. We have two rookies and that will be a tough thing to do anyway."

Although both drivers made up the rear in Friday's practice sessions along with their Williams rivals, Schumacher and Mazepin were overall satisfied with their first day on the job.

"I felt comfortable in the car, which is a good sign and shows that we did enough work to prepare myself to get in and be comfortable," said Schumacher who edged his teammate by 0.152s in FP2.

"I know there’s a lot to improve from my side still, as a driver I know I have the tools to improve the lap time. I’ll be working hard on myself to keep improving and keep learning."

"It was very special for me to take part in my first FP1 and FP2 sessions," reported Mazepin. "That alone was very positive.

"On the technical side the day was quite challenging. There’s been a lot of wind around, and it wasn’t very consistent.

"These cars, compared to Formula 2, are much more effective with the wind in a positive way and also in a negative way. The car was quite difficult at times.

"Being realistic, we were very fortunate with the conditions achieved on the final day of testing, they were very fast.

"The track today was much slower and that made driving today much more challenging – for us at least. With 23 rounds you’re going to experience very different things.

"It’s about getting the most experience banked and that’s definitely happened today."

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