Mick Schumacher says tyres was the big learning for him as he adds on ticking all of the boxes but points in rookie 2021 F1 season.
Haas’ Schumacher took some time during the Abu Dhabi GP race weekend to reflect on his debut season in F1 and give his thoughts on what was a success during his rookie campaign as he and the beleaguered Haas team look forward to a fresh start in 2022.
As rookie seasons go, Schumacher has had it tough. Plunged into one of the worst performing cars F1 has seen in recent years to try and make the best of it as a backmarker, as well as the weight of expectation that comes with his surname, 2021 was always going to be tough. But with great challenge comes great opportunity for the Ferrari junior driver who did a great job of embracing the situation whilst displaying gratitude and humility for being in F1 in the first place.
With Ferrari closely monitoring Schumacher’s situation at Haas, the Italian giants identified 2021 as a year of learning and transition for the young German as he aims to prove he’s got the credentials to race for the Scuderia one day. For Schumacher, the biggest learning was the tyres which is a big step from F2.
“I probably would go for the tyres, I mean the tyres are very special thing in Formula 1,” said Schumacher to media including FormulaRapida.net. “It’s something not really like the other category the way we have it, obviously the tyre blanket and the way the window is formed and when you drop out of the window or over the window it will be very different and the feedback you get from the car it will be very different so, I think that the probably the part which I learned the most from.”
It’s no secret that F1 is a completely different ball game to F2 and knowing how to manage and utilize your tyres in F1 plays a huge part in performance. Both Schumacher and teammate Nikita Mazepin have different ways of getting their tyres into the appropriate window and this has caused friction in qualifying between the two rookies as they fight for optimal track position.
But the fact Schumacher now feels on top of the tyres, puts him in good stead for 2022. Haas seemed to get stronger as the season went on despite the much talked about lack of development on their car this campaign. Schumacher managed to reach Q2 on a number of occasions in the later part of 2021 as he put the improvement down to both team and the driver working in tandem.
“It really comes down to really both, the team and I also working even better together and figuring out what comments I need to give to get the right performance and the changes of the setups,” said Schumacher. “I think that the way we figured out our way and it will help us for next year in many ways.
“So, yeah if we would go back to Bahrain now, maybe we will start strong and maybe closer, and therefore being closer for whole the part of the season and then towards the end of the season we will pick up more to the others and even be in front of others or at least with them,” summed up Schumacher.
The 2021 season has definitely been a year to forget for Haas but the struggle will for sure build character within the team and make them stronger going forward. Despite the abundant lack of performance, Schumacher and the team still had goals to achieve and hopefully with a more competitive car for 2022, those goals can be elevated.
“I think we ticked most of the boxes,” said Schumacher when asked by FormulaRapida.net. “Obviously one of the boxes was to score points, we still have chance for tomorrow, hopefully we get that but you know I think if not, it’s been a very successful campaign. think we managed to get everything out of what we had overall.
“And I think yeah, as an approach for next year definitely there will be more to expect and I expect from myself more frankly. So yeah, hopefully, I will be able to make the steps as in the past but I’m quite sure so that we will found out,” summed up Schumacher.
The German can be proud of what he’s achieved in his rookie season given the circumstances. To draw so many positives is an incredible feat and I think the highlight for him will surely be the Q2 appearance in Turkey or his brave drive in Hungary.
He and Haas will be quick to put behind the results of 2021 but the lessons will be invaluable for the team and Schumacher as his career progresses. Hopefully Haas can provide him with a competitive car for 2022 so he can really showcase his talent and establish himself on the F1 grid.
The story was written by Ollie Pattas
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