Nikita Mazepin says “there’s nothing else in my life other than racing” after he explained the emotional reaction to his qualifying lap in Brazil.
Mazepin has spent the bulk of the year at the rear of the field in Formula 1 as he gets up to speed with a Haas team that has opted not to develop its package.
Mazepin was unable to improve on his Q1 benchmark on Friday after a mistake on his final push lap and was on the brink of tears in the TV pen in the immediate aftermath.
The Russian went on to finish at the back of the pack in Sprint on Saturday.
“I’m going through a pretty challenging period in the last few races, not only to do with the car balance but also with some internal things going on in the team,” said Mazepin.
“And that makes the results more important at this particular moment in time. And when you come so close to finishing like what I felt was a great lap in the car we currently have, and by your own doing try too hard, and lose that lap, it hurts.
“I work quite hard with different specialists to make sure my emotions behave correctly in the car, but when you have only four minutes or so after jumping out of the car until you speak to journalists who ask you questions that bring back those memories and you know what could have been it just feels sad.
“There’s not much else in my life other than racing, in fact there’s nothing, so I put myself on the line for this and I get upset, which is natural when things don’t go well.”
Explaining the situation behind the scenes, Mazepin said: “People were coming and going in last few races and I know not everybody that is around me this year are planning to stay for next year.
“Good people in any industry are… something you want to hold onto.
“Unfortunately personal relationships aren’t something that in this sport can make people stay, it’s the financial reasons quite a lot of the times, and as you know life goes on, people get families, the calendar ever gets growing.
“Unfortunately they are right in that respect that families should come first. Sport is all I do in my life but I’m only 22 and I guess if I was 10 years older and I had kids I would make similar decisions as what they do.”