Haas’ Mick Schumacher says he feels more “comfortable” in F1 after his first race, as Nikita Mazepin adds on learning about whole race weekend.
Schumacher spun out early in his F1 debut at the Bahrain GP, finding difficulty staying on the circuit at the restart of the race following his teammate’s crash. Though only a few laps in duration, the German still says there are lessons to be learned from his first race, notably regarding tyres and following in dirty air.
Schumacher was struck by these aspects of racing in F1, and looks forward to applying his findings in round two of the season at Imola. “I think in general I’ve learned a ton of new things, and we’ve seen that come through in all the meetings we’ve had,” he said. “It’s always different talking about it and feeling it.
“There are a lot of things I learned about the tires, that’s probably the biggest new thing to me. Also, on things like how much downforce we lose at the start of the race. It’s like going from 100 percent downforce to 20 percent downforce the moment you’re turning into a corner. There was definitely lots learned and lots to look at before heading to Imola.
“I feel I have a lot more knowledge, a lot more comfort, but I was also really surprised at how quickly the weekend was over. It all happened in the blink of an eye – it was a case of little time and lots to learn, let’s put it like that,” summed up Schumacher.
The German rookie, son of 7x champion Michael, says he is focused exclusively on addressing his own shortcomings and working to improve come Imola. “We had a few team meetings after the weekend as usual, obviously to put a point on what we learned, trying to put it all together ahead of Imola,” said Schumacher. “I’ve really just been focused 100 percent on going to Imola.”
Schumacher and fellow rookies Mazepin, also of Haas, and Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri, both enjoyed extra time between debuts and the second round. For the Russian, this afforded him time to return home and reflect on his first race.
“For me personally it was very important to use these two weeks to go away and reflect back on the weekend to see the things I need to improve – and obviously there’s a lot of things being a rookie,” said Mazepin. “Also, it was very nice to go back home and see my family. Knowing there’s a very busy schedule ahead during the year, these two weeks were very important.
“I feel like the biggest thing to get used to is learning the schedule, and the weekend is much more intense with all that’s going on and the sessions on-track. It’s about keeping concentration and learning the schedule – that’s the biggest thing,” summed up Mazepin.
Here’s Guenther Steiner on Mick Schumacher Nikita Mazepin