Formula 1 | Expert takes Mick Schumacher to task: “He’s no longer a rookie”

Whether and where Mick Schumacher’s Formula 1 career will continue after 2022 will “probably only be decided after the summer break”. That’s what the Haas driver says on the sidelines of the British Grand Prix and confirms: “We’re talking about it every day. During the summer break it will go into more detail.”

The 23-year-old presumably has his fate in his own hands. If he delivers like he did last time in Canada, Haas has no reason to want another driver and Ferrari no reason to put another junior in the cockpit. Because who will be Kevin Magnussen’s teammate in 2023 will ultimately be determined by Ferrari due to an agreement with Haas.

In any case, team boss Günther Steiner thinks that Schumacher is on the right track: “He showed in Montreal that he can get a good starting position and be in the points, and I think he’s gaining self-confidence from that. He was right in the middle of the Midfielder, he just needs points now to prove to himself that he can do it.”

Steiner: Schumacher “in good shape”

“I had hoped that he would get these points in Canada to overcome this hurdle. Maybe he’ll be more relaxed afterwards,” says Steiner. “But I can see he’s in good shape right now. He’s in a lot better shape and is doing a good job with Kevin. I think he just needs to get those first few points.”

Steiner believes that the pressure to finish in the top 10 was even greater at the start of the season when Magnussen impressed with P5 at the start in Bahrain. But the Dane has also been waiting for points for five race weekends. “Mick just needs a bit of luck and a clean race weekend. We’ve never quite got it together,” admits the Haas team boss.

A sentiment shared by ‘Sky’ pundit Karun Chandhok: “It’s tough for him, isn’t it? I really felt sorry for him in Canada. It finally looked like he had a chance to score and then come on something in between again. But he has to make a real effort now and start hitting Kevin.”

Bar for rookies is higher than it was 15 years ago

Schumacher’s situation is difficult because: “He’s not a rookie anymore,” Chandhok clarifies. “Formula 1 is not a training formula. You have to arrive in Formula 1 as a finished product. Drivers like George and Lando have set the bar high. The first was Lewis, but now other drivers are also having higher expectations of rookies.”

Chandhok describes how difficult it has become for young drivers to live up to expectations in Formula 1, pointing to the nine consecutive podiums that Lewis Hamilton started his career with McLaren in 2007. The now seven-time world champion almost became champion in his debut season.

“We often say, ‘Oh, they need half a season when they come on or change teams.’ “But Lewis came into Formula 1 alongside the reigning double world champion in 2007 and has led the championship until the last race. That’s the problem: Mick has to be at least level with Kevin in the second half of the season at least.”

Chandhok: Is the Schumacher name an asset?

“Otherwise,” fears Chandhok, “it will be difficult when it comes to a contract for next year. His last name is great, it certainly opened doors for him. But of course it also puts pressure on it. It all has two sides. Ultimately he has to perform. The stopwatch doesn’t lie. It’s all very simple. The results tell you how it is.”

The Formula 1 expert believes that it could be positive for Schumacher “that there is currently no really outstanding driver in Formula 2”. Only Alpine junior Oscar Piastri is on hold, but if Fernando Alonso continues, he may be parked with Williams and not with Haas if the rumor mill has its way.

So the task is clear: Schumacher has to beat Magnussen, get his first points and often deliver qualifying sessions like in Canada. They are in the Haas: “We can still make it into Q3,” Steiner believes. “We proved that in Canada.” But: “The midfield is close together. Every weekend can be different.”

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