Updated on 01/06/2022 at 15:26
- After another accident in Formula 1, Mick Schumacher is under increasing pressure.
- Companions believe at 23 and demand that Haas’ pilot be given time.
- Problem: In the first chapter you don’t have one thing – time. So what Schumacher needs are points.
The message was short and sweet. Mick Schumacher wrote on social media: “Thanks for the lovely messages, I’m doing well. I’m focused on the upcoming races.”
After the huge meltdown in Monaco, he’s been doing well physically, but Haas has bullshit and his career is counted for the first time. Because what Schumacher doesn’t have in Formula 1 is time. What’s also missing are points and a constant sense of accomplishment, but plenty of mishaps and mistakes. Ergo: Parallel to the blunders, it lacks arguments at the moment. He’s not at a crossroads yet, but he’s getting closer and closer. Because sport is ruthless – even with the big names.
“The speed is now very good, it’s getting close, but accidents can’t go on like this,” former Formula 1 driver Christian Danner said in Sport 1: “That’s millions of damages that arise,” Danner said. “A team like this could spend the money more sensibly.” Indeed, accidents such as the one in Monaco or in Saudi Arabia, where Schumacher also completely disassembled the car, hurt Haas financially.
Schumacher needs to be more relaxed
Because since last season, there’s been a budget limit in Formula 1, which this year is $140 million. The crash in Saudi Arabia is said to have cost about $1 million, and the accident in Monaco likely wouldn’t be much cheaper. There are also errors such as the race in Miami, where the accident with his companion Sebastian Vettel did not cause any significant damage to the car, but it dashed hopes on potential points. “It is not satisfactory to have another major accident. We have to see how we continue from here,” said Haas team principal Gunther Steiner, transparently and open to interpretation after Monaco.
However, Danner dismissed a possible excessive demand for Schumacher: “No, he is trying to take advantage of what is there more than what is possible, which often leads to an accident or insecurity, so he has to relax a bit,” he said. Even if that means Schumacher isn’t faster than his teammate Kevin Magnussen, Danner said: “So he’s a little slower than Magnussen. As long as it’s his turn at the end of the year, everything is fine.”
driven by ambition
But Schumacher is of course driven by ambition, a yearning for something to be counted, to succeed, in every race weekend. Points are hard currency in Formula 1, and at the moment, Schumacher is the only driver besides Williams driver Nicholas Latifi who is completely lacking in it.
So it is a combination of several things. His teammate Kevin Magnussen got more car early in the season and automatically raised Schumacher’s expectations. He, in turn, does not always get the limit cleanly in the search for first points, and behaves for the first time with a reasonable car after the indivisible Haas option from the previous year. “Mick has to go to the extreme because Kevin is showing what’s possible with Haas. Whoever takes more risks flies faster,” former Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa told Bild.
Not competitive anymore
One problem: Haas, which has not yet had any upgrades, is no longer as competitive as it was at the beginning, which doesn’t make life any easier for Schumacher. At the same time, the pressure is building, especially in the past few weeks. At the moment, Schumacher is finding it difficult to escape from this vicious cycle. His uncle Ralph Schumacher wrote in his Sky column: “You can drive fast, but it becomes very difficult to keep up with other people’s pace. Something must definitely happen to save Mick’s life easier.” Haas just announced a major update for the month of July.
On the other hand, Mick has to learn “that such mistakes should not happen, there is no doubt about it. But in Formula 2, when he became champion in 2020, he proved that he can also master the difficult stages of a track,” said Ralf Schumacher.
Hoping on the learning curve
And that’s exactly what its proponents are hoping for: the ability to learn from mistakes. In the junior classes Formula 3 and Formula 2, Schumacher was always able to improve in the second year and win the title. He’s in his second year in Formula 1, actually his first with a car that’s doing well – and he has to show he can learn as fast as he can.
“You shouldn’t write off Mick too quickly,” Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost told F1 Insider. “I still believe in him.” Schumacher may need more time, says Tost, who demands: “You should give him that, it’s only his second season in Formula 1 and we have brand new cars that are hard to drive.” Tost had previously stated that everything before F1 was “kindergarten” than the first class, and that it took three years for the driver to get to the top level.
Good enough for Formula 1
However, the learning steps should be visible over time. The Companions are sure that these will come. “I have no doubts that Mick can do more than he shows, but I think you (media; editor’s note) should leave him alone for a bit,” Vettel said. Eddie Jordan, ex-Papa team boss Michael Schumacher, is sure: “It’s learning from it. It won’t slow him down. It might make him see things differently.” Former Mercedes sport director Norbert Haug is demanding that Sky stand by Haas and stop putting the internal pressure on him. Massa explains: “Mick is good enough for Formula 1.” Schumacher has to prove it in the coming weeks.
- f1-insider.com: Mick Schumacher: Vettel and Tost take his side (05/31/2022)
- Sky Sport: “Ferrari has to learn again how to make the right decisions” (05/30/2022)
- Photo: The third crash in the seventh race: Why does Mick make so many mistakes? (05/30/2022)
The search for world champion Max Verstappen began in Bahrain on March 20. After the Russian Grand Prix was canceled, the racing calendar included 22 world championship races, as in the previous year. Ten teams compete under changing regulations. German drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher are under particular pressure.