At the beginning of the year, the Russian complained that he was driving a heavier chassis than that of team-mate Mick Schumacher.
Finally, at the Belgian Grand Prix, Mazepin got the lighter chassis, which he said at the time had “massively improved” his one-lap pace.
However, the Russian had to resort to the heavier chassis after damaging the other in the first practice session for the Qatar Grand Prix, which he did on the older, heavier version.
“Back with the heavy chassis, like I said, it drives well, but when you carry extra weight it’s just not optimal for the lap time,” said Mazepin after the Losail event.
“You know, there’s a reason drivers don’t eat french fries and then sandwiches … the chassis is a little too fat for me.”
He added: “Of course we have two races left. I hope it comes back for Abu Dhabi but I am focused on doing the job myself and I have to maximize it.
“So if it doesn’t come back by the end of this year, I’ll be happy that I got to know this new chassis and saw the potential that we all saw in Mexico and Brazil.”
Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
When asked about the weight difference, he said, “Quite a lot. This sport is very confidential, although I don’t know what difference it makes. People don’t like to talk about it.”
Haas team boss Gunther Steiner said the chassis was repairable despite a crack, but the team had to make sure it was ready in time for the next races before a decision was made.
“We’ll check it out,” he said. “It’s repairable, but it’s cracked pretty badly. But it’s repairable.
“We’ll see how we can get it back and if you fix it, when will we get the chassis back. There’s no point getting it back for a next year because we’re no longer using that chassis.
“So this is all happening as we speak. I don’t know which chassis it is in now because I got the chassis numbers mixed up, you know like I said, some of you know better than I. But for me, they are all the same, the chassis, you know my opinion on it.
“But there is another space chassis and we are looking into whether we can fix it and whether it can be finished in time.”
Additional reporting from Oleg Karpov.