“P8! Points! Points, Mick! You did it!” After crossing the finish line in Silverstone, Mick Schumacher’s headphones roared in the Haas VF-22. For the first time in his Formula 1 career, the German racing driver had just finished a Grand Prix in the top 10, in the 31st race since 2021. And he himself was overwhelmed by emotions.
“Finally! I told you: This is the weekend. Oh my God! You guys are awesome! Sorry for my swearing! Prove them wrong and believe in yourself, that’s what I say,” Schumacher reacted by radio.
Haas team boss Günther Steiner also spoke up and spoke to Schumacher in German: “Mick. Fantastic job, thank you. Now things are looking up again. Thank you! Fantastic drive.”
Schumacher’s tears came at the latest when his sister Gina spoke to him: “Hey, Mick! Super, super, super, super!” Shortly thereafter, the girlfriend: “Mick, I’m super proud of you, great job, dear!” And with so much praise from the family, Schumacher almost lost his voice.
Yes, Schumacher did it. From 19th on the grid, he moved up to P8 at Silverstone, and in the end even glanced at Max Verstappen in seventh place in front of him. After several attempts, which were repelled vigorously, he finished 0.218 seconds behind the world champion.
Of course it was “a risk” to attack Verstappen in the final phase, says Schumacher. In Miami, he threw away points in a similarly promising situation when he collided with Sebastian Vettel. This time Schumacher was more prudent, although Verstappen defended more rustically.
Vettel one of the first to wish well
Incidentally, Vettel followed the duel with his own eyes: shortly before the end of the race, the Aston Martin driver was right behind Schumacher. “I saw him catch up and I yelled in the car, ‘Come on Mick! Come on Mick!’ He’s deserved a result like this for a long time. It’s great that he has it now. Well done. I’m very happy for him,” said the four-time Formula 1 world champion.
Back in the pit lane, Vettel was one of the first to wish Schumacher well, and he gave him a warm hug. Just a little later, Schumacher’s sister Gina-Maria popped the cork and surprised her brother with a champagne bottle, spilling the contents in the paddock.
The fact that the family witnessed the success up close in Silverstone was “all the better,” says Schumacher in an interview with “Sky”. “Now we can celebrate the day together.”
“Yes, it feels great”
Schumacher explained that there was already a family day at the Haas branch in Banbury, England, on the Tuesday before the race. “For us is [Silverstone] like a home. Getting points here is pretty special.”
The young German must have had a big load off his shoulders, after all he had been under immense pressure practically since the beginning of the year because his Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen had repeatedly scored points, but not Schumacher himself. Until now.
“Yes, it feels great,” says Schumacher. “Right now I’m just looking forward to going back to the team and having some fun. [Denn] At the end of the day, we’re a team, and we win and lose as a team. That’s been my mentality from the start.”
That’s why a team mistake like the crooked steering wheel in qualifying at Silverstone doesn’t throw him off course. “I don’t hold anything against the team,” says Schumacher. “I try to motivate, ‘Look, we’ll get through this together.’ And today we managed to score points from 19th place.”
Magnussen: “I’m happy for Mick”
Magnussen also finished in the top 10, in tenth place. Which begs the question of why the Haas VF-22 performed so much better in the race than it did in qualifying. Schumacher refers to the vote in which Haas got “a good direction”.
He explains: “We knew what we were doing [nach dem Freitagstraining] had to change. It wasn’t that big of a change, but we knew from the third practice session that the pace was there. There was no reason why we shouldn’t be fast in the long run as well. And so it was.”
Magnussen confirms Schumacher’s statements on the English “Sky” and says: “I already had a good feeling in the third free practice session because Mick had set a good pace there. His lap times were really good.”
Schumacher’s ninth place on Saturday morning was followed by eighth place on Sunday afternoon. “I’m happy for Mick and the team,” said Magnussen. “And I’m sure everyone in the team is grinning really big today.”
Haas team boss Steiner satisfied
In any case, team boss Steiner is satisfied: “Above all, the team has [so ein Ergebnis] second hand. We’ve always been so close in the last four or five races, but never made it. It didn’t seem to be working out for us. Now we can take a deep breath. Because the car was fast, we were able to fight.”
The result is particularly “good for Mick”, says Steiner. “Hopefully that takes some of the pressure off his shoulders that he can ride freely.”
Had the young German made his breakthrough in the middle of the second season in Formula 1? “I hope so,” says Steiner. “It’s a matter of confidence.”
“Now he just has to be careful that the pressure doesn’t get hyped up again. Now the expectation is there that he has to score points every time. But if he doesn’t get any points the first or second time, then it’s immediately said that he’s bad . It’s difficult to manage.”
That’s why Steiner advises: “Just stay calm and ignore the outside world, just do your thing.”
Schumacher climbs in the drivers’ standings
That’s what Schumacher wants to have done since the beginning of the season. He states that he “tried a lot” after the opening race and changed some of the set-up of the Haas vehicle. Then, “due to a little more pressure,” Schumacher admits, “he made a little mistake here and there.”
“But as I said: In order to understand this car, which is of course actually more difficult to drive than last year, you have to go to the limit. And I think that these little mistakes will pay off for the fact that we’ve scored the points it’s over.”
Thanks to his points from Silverstone, Schumacher is now in 17th place in the Formula 1 drivers’ standings. And Haas overtook Aston Martin in the Constructors’ Championship with that result.