Has this really happened now? Mick Schumacher stood at the Monaco circuit and looked at a wreck that had been used for his Formula 1 car. To his left was the torn rear section with the gearbox and rear axle, with only the rear wing halfway intact. To his right was the rest of the car, except for the front wing, completely torn at the point of break with a glimpse of the inner workings. There are smaller and larger pieces of debris all around it.
While he was in 17th place, he lost control of his Haas, which spun multiple times across the track at high speed and crashed into the pool lane barrier. A violent impact, which raised fears of the worst, until the 23-year-old got out of the cockpit, unharmed from the outside. The Grand Prix ended for him after just 27 laps. Guards drove him from the scene, a doctor came and after a medical examination, Schumacher was able to join his team.
A little later gave a preliminary assessment on the Sky channel, all the contestants. Trying to remain optimistic, he said, “It’s very upsetting. We had the speed to go further on the field. It’s still a long season, and the tide can turn very quickly. I’ve shown it before, I’m sure of it. We will show it again this year” . Despite a moderate start to the season, Schumacher appears confident he will remain on the path to success.
As the past taught him. In the junior series, Formula 3 and Formula 2, he needed a year to get used to before he won the title. But this is difficult to implement in the first category with its high performance intensity including smart actions, high technology and faster speed.
Colleague Magnussen got all the points for Haas
In 2021, Schumacher drove a car that was poor and difficult to drive. His classmate was also a freshman, Nikita Maspin, and his father was the main sponsor of Haas with his company. The Russian was the actual opponent of Schumacher. He had to assert himself against him, which he did and was convincing in duels at the end of the field – but he was also criticized for spinning and accidents. In 2022 the situation is different.
Not just because he now has the experience of the season. But also because it shows that it is worth putting energy into developing the Haas VF-22 in light of changes to regulations. Maspin’s successor, Kevin Magnussen, finished fifth in the season opener in Bahrain and showed what was possible: the Dane scored all 15 of Haas’ points, while Schumacher and Williams driver Nicholas Latifi are the only ones still without looting. Magnussen is tenth in the world championship standings, and Schumacher is penultimate among the regular drivers. His best race result to date was 11th in Jeddah.
Of course, this second year can also be considered his first proper junior season, as the car was dubbed the “white Ferrari” at launch and Schumacher’s teammate to learn from. Magnussen is six years old and is already in his eighth season in Formula 1. But the German driver’s grace period is slowly coming to an end in this very world, who has welcomed him with enthusiasm and anticipation as the son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.
In any case, team boss Gunther Steiner seemed nervous in Monaco due to his next driver’s mistake. The US racing team, which has to watch the money anyway, is hardest hit than most of its rivals due to the high costs of accidents. “It is not very satisfying for a major accident to happen again,” the South Tyrolean said. “We have to see how we can proceed from here.” This leaves room for interpretation, even if the overall situation is intentional.
“Our problem isn’t budget limits,” says team leader Steiner. “Our problem is the budget.”
In the emirate, there has been discussion of an increase in the budget ceiling, which Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes in particular are demanding in light of the rising costs caused by inflation. Haas’ position is clear: “Our problem is not the budget ceiling. Our problem is the budget,” Steiner said Thursday — before he knew his Monte Carlo team was leaving with a pile of scrap. His assessment of Schumacher was still: “I’m more worried because he wants to get a lot out of the car out of desperation. He knows he’s close. He has to be patient, at some point you will succeed.”
Schumacher himself knows full well that he must soon score points to prove his talent, end discussions about his performance and earn his place. His contract expires after this season. Accidents and missing points don’t help build confidence, but rather increase stress. A week ago in Barcelona, Schumacher was briefly sixth after the start, but then fell back.
The Monte Carlo accident is his third in the seventh race of the season. In Saudi Arabia he hit the gang at over 200 km/h. Deciding not to repair the car in a hurry, Schumacher looked – at least unscathed, providing relief after a violent impact. In Miami, he was on his way to getting points before he got impatient to face an attack and crashes into Sebastian Vettel. And now the mistake of driving in Monaco where his father won five times. Conditions were tough this Sunday after it rained, which led to two races being abandoned. But this is also part of it, some drivers are even able to shine on the water.
“The cars are a little wider than last year, I misjudged a little,” Schumacher explained. Driving so often in midfield, where several world champions like Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are currently standing, brings him new situations. He wants to be measured by that. After all, his goal is to win the title in the end. Preferably at Ferrari where he works as a backup driver. Regardless of his performance, he doesn’t have good prospects there at the moment: Scuderia has given Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr their confidence with contracts dated until the end of the 2024 season. For Mick Schumacher, it’s all about the present anyway.