Haas team boss Guenther Steiner shed some light on Nikita Mazepin's claim that he is racing a heavier car than teammate Mick Schumacher.
After last weekend's Styrian Grand Prix in which he finished last, two spots behind Schumacher, Mazepin said that he could not remain in front of the German in the first part of the race because "you have a lot of laps, and long straights, and you have a very heavy car compared to the other car in our team".
Steiner confirmed that there is a slight weight difference between Mazepin and Schumacher's VF-21 cars "depending on the weight distribution". But the Italian insisted the disparity was minimal.
"I mean, heavy is never good, but it is not like 20kg heavy, or even 10kg heavy, it is nothing like this," Steiner explained.
"The chassis, they are a year old, they’ve raced for a year, and normally every year you make a new one, and for sure the chassis never get lighter over the year.
“Obviously a heavier car never makes you faster, really, you know. I stated the obvious here.
"But how much… as I said I don’t want to go to the exact amount of weight, for sure it does something, physics are physics you know, we will not change them, so it slows him down, but it’s not a lot."
Mazepin said last weekend that he wasn't expected the weight issue to be solved before "six or seven races".
But Steiner revealed that a new chassis will likely be rolled out for the Russian at Spa at the end of August.
The Haas boss reckoned that a collection of blue flags in the Styrian Grand Prix and tyre degradation were to blame for Mazepin's lackluster performance relative to Schumacher rather than a weight discrepancy.
"Once you let three cars by your tyres go where you don’t want them to be and you never get them back," elaborated Steiner.
"I don’t think that has anything to do with the chassis [differences], and that [strategy] was done because again, in the beginning, we decided to give him an earlier pit stop to keep him out of the blue flags.
"So I wouldn’t put that one down to the weight difference."
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