“We’re on a roll,” said Mick Schumacher after the Formula 1 race in Spielberg. But does this run also continue at the French Grand Prix in Le Castellet? Schumacher himself said after Friday’s training: “I don’t know. But if we’re in a good starting position and starting from the top 10, then I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t work out.”
At least Schumacher’s Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen managed to finish in the top ten in the VF-22 in the second free practice session. The Dane finished eighth with a time of 1:33.928 minutes, almost 1.4 seconds behind the leader. Schumacher finished 19th out of 20 drivers in the sister car in 1:35.195 minutes, almost 2.7 seconds back.
So what changed from the first to the second training session? Because in the first unit, Schumacher stayed just ahead of Magnussen. It went “a bit worse” in the late afternoon,” says Schumacher. He refers to “changes to the car” and says: “They obviously didn’t give us the steps we were hoping for.”
Schumacher flies off in the fast turn 11
But Schumacher also slowed himself down: A wild exit in turn 11 destroyed his medium tire set on the rough strips of the run-off zone. But Schumacher was able to narrowly avoid an impact.
It was “quite quick” on this departure, he explains. “But it looks like the red lines are doing what they’re supposed to do, which is slowing down the car in time. I think we were lucky that the number ended well and we didn’t end up in the gangs. But the second free Training is for trying things, not third training.”
Departure does not cost self-confidence, Schumacher asserts
The incident “didn’t cost him the confidence to drive,” Schumacher asserted. “It’s more about the confidence to push the aerobalance a little further to the limit.”
In addition, Schumacher had to change his training program after the departure and in the end only had one soft set left to do more laps. “We still drove with a lot of fuel, just to get a feel for it,” he says. “Of course you don’t have as much data up your sleeve as with the Medium mix.”
Magnussen thinks Top 10 is possible
Teammate Magnussen, on the other hand, had a normal day and brought in the necessary long run data in the second practice session. But he says: “We did improve on the one fast lap in the second practice session, but we still have work to do over the distance. Hopefully we’ll find a little more pace overnight.”
The Haas driver sounds confident. He himself is aiming for a place in the top 10 because the Haas VF-22 can do that. “It seems that way after the second training session, but sometimes things change and you don’t really know why,” says Magnussen. “But I see no reason why it shouldn’t work.”
It will be decided how the individual drivers manage to get their lap on point. Because a second attempt on soft is possible, but not advisable. “The tires then wear off,” says Magnussen. “On the other hand, the fuel is less. So maybe you can improve, but you probably won’t become a second [schnelle] Try round.”