Mazepin was fined five seconds for hampering race leader Perez as he approached him as the pair nearly collided at Turn 3.
The Russian had just come out of the pits in front of Perez and had not spotted the Red Bull driver close behind him.
Perez had to take evasive action after Mazepin turned on him, and the Mexican feared he actually hit the Haas pilot and broke the front wing.
After the race, Mazepin went to Perez to apologize for what had happened, but Haas team boss Gunther Steiner said his outfit had to take some responsibility in such situations.
“I think his blue flag lit up very late, and he was already past turn 2 when the fire started,” said Steiner.
“So obviously we have to improve the communication when you come out of the pits and someone comes along.”
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Steiner was clear that Mazepin had not deliberately tried 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 nothing bad happened in the end,” he said. “You know it never looks good, but the five seconds, I think, didn’t make much of a difference.
Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
“In the end, I think Checo accepted that one, you know. He [Nikita] apologized to him. He said, “Hey, that was really a mistake, there was no intention whatsoever.” 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 barely received the blue flags.
“With Nikita’s penalty, it was not so much the number of blue flags that were ignored, but more the incident that was shown on the show with Sergio at turn 3, and the near collision that was caused under the blue flags, “he explained.
“It wasn’t actually for a number of panels, rather it was to not effectively get out of the way at the first opportunity, and almost cause an incident as a result.”